Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Family Hospital


Writer/mother/theologian Edith Schaeffer has changed the way I love my family. She has such a unique blend of high thinking and practical creativity.

My newfound copy of What Is A Family came just in time for my husband's sinus infection. I'll confess--I used to HATE it when my husband was sick; in fact, grew irrationally resentful at that big strong man! I was efficient, but not empathetic.

"Don't waste the opportunity to teach compassion....so nobody has cared for you? Well, you can begin to start a long line of caring for people. Isn't this a worthy piece of your career?"What is A Family, p. 100.

Schaeffer's chapter "A Shelter In The Time Of Storm" convinced me that the family should be a hospital that gives the kindest comfort. In 25 pages, she jumps from biblical basis to broth-making, from Scripture to sponge bathing instructions. She makes you feel honored to care for others.

"...Jesus said we are "to wash one another's feet" as He washed the disciples' feet (see John 13:12). During sicknesses we can both literally and figuratively "wash feet," as we do the messy jobs that someone has to do, and then say, "Thank you, Lord, for giving me a glimpse of what it is all about." What Is A Family, p. 96.

Thank you, Lord, for women like Edith Schaeffer, who continue to teach me how make a better home.

14 comments:

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

Ouch. :) I'm the same way when my husband gets sick ... but you are so right (as is Ms. Schaeffer). I need to get that book off my shelf and read it, too.

Ron and Ginny said...

I have that book and I have read it, but I don't remember that part. And...that part is what I NEED! Thanks for the reminder. :-D

Anonymous said...

I am going to buy this book from Amazon today. (I will buy a used copy) I confess that I have had many less than patient feelings about giving care to my own mother at times. I don't show the feelings to her, but I do VENT the feelings to my son and husband. It is sad to say that I have many years of 'problems' with my mother and father because of an abusive childhood. Now, I am expected to put those feelings aside and give care as if the things that happened to me never happened...it is not easy. Maybe this book will help me. I do pray on this issue, I know I need to give it more careful prayer and open my heart to what the Lord is trying to teach me. I have a long way to go in my quest for a Christian heart. Roxie

Anonymous said...

Edith is my hero : ) You will LOVE the autobiography of her life with Fran, of course including their missionary endeavours at L'Abri, called "The Tapestry".

debbie

Jennifer said...

Here is a home remedy that really works. Mix up some warm salt water. this is the yucky part. Hold one nostril closed while snorting up the salt water with the other nostril. Then reverse sides. It really works!

Jennifer

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I love that book. You don't hear as much about it as you do The Hidden Art of Homemaking but it is just as good.

I "met" Edith through her books as a bride in the 70s. She was my homemaking mentor. :)

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Sounds like an inspirational book.

Sick hubby is an issue I struggle with, too. I finally figured out that my less-than-sympathetic reaction included a lot of fear, because if the breadwinner is sick, then who's out winning the bread?

What works best for me is to just push through the not-so-great feelings and smother him with pampering and nursing. I found I actually enjoy it once I get going.

Sunydazy said...

Edith Schaeffer offers so much wisdom in the pages of her books! I need to re-read some of mine.
She always inspires me.

Mrs. Thrifty said...

Thank you for sharing this. It's a great reminder. I'll try to find the book at my library.

Birdie said...

Edith Schaeffer is wonderful and so are you, Meredith! Your blog inspires so many of us every day. ;) Ironically, my hubby called to let me know he's sick today, too. He needed me to bring him medicine and a milder lunch, poor dear.

Grace said...

I've heard of Edith, but never read any of her books - now I certainly must do so.

Rachel Anne said...

Meredith, thanks for stopping over at my blog...I've enjoyed coming back over here with you and getting to know you! Awesome reminder...it IS hard when our big ol' guys start acting like babies at the first sign of infection! But I've kind of figured out that sometimes "I feel sick" is code for "I need you" and that's ok. Love the whole concept of home as shelter for our loved ones.

Christy said...

Oh, Meredith, caring for my family with compassion has been on my mind so much lately. Thank you for sharing this. We're on the same page again. :-)

Meredith said...

Lori, I think you've hit the nail on the head. I never realized that before, but you're right--fear is driving my resentment.