On neglect...

A friend of mine talked about "neglect" this week. And ever since she said that word, it has sort of hung with me.

My mom is currently in a nursing home. Years of "neglect" have resulted in a body that cannot walk due to unmanaged diabetes. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure my mom neglected her heart too. I don't know that she ever took the time to cultivate her dreams or pull the weeds of old hurts and sorrows.

As John and I talked about it, I wondered if it were generational or cultural. Was the religious culture we were raised in so focused on service to others that we weren't allowed to take care of ourselves? My mom is very giving and caring for others.

John had a different thought. What if the problem wasn't the "service to others." What if the problem were the desire for perfection? In the religious culture I was raised in we were to avoid any "appearance of evil," but what  resulted was a pursuit of the "appearance of perfection." Problems weren't acknowledged. And if everything is apparently perfect, then there is nothing to take care of.

In order to care for ourselves, we need a relentless pursuit of the real. I'm recently convinced that one of the most powerful prayers we can pray is: Holy Spirit, I am willing to see.

Neglect is just a form of blindness. It isn't that we don't care. It is simply that we don't see.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall