Care

Wrote about this a few months ago…

I found myself settling down to Dave Bazan’s album Care.  It’s a nice album.  It’s actually my fav of 2017, just so you know.

It got me thinking.

Sometimes, most of the time, it’s really hard to care.

He has a line in there that goes “all of us need major healing” and I’ll raise my hand and say that, yes, this applies to me.

I felt myself within a season of a lack of care.  I had just finished another summer at camp and my heart felt pretty empty by that time.  I decided to get away from everything for a bit.  I searched the internet and gathered advice from coworkers, and found a spot deep in the mountains that seemed to be just what I was looking for.

Evening overlooking Ghost River. I found this one appropriate.

It was a retreat centre.  They had a small treehouse that you could rent, no more than 7 x 6 feet.  It had a bed, and a bit of heat coming from an electric floorboard.  I booked it for one night.

My goal over this time was to think about Care.  Upon arrival, I turned off my phone and left it in the car.  Completely severed from that modern beast.  No temptation.  Done.

Then I found my little hideaway.  It was just as advertised.  I was very happy I had come.

The centre has a few prayer walks.  I went around, going through the Catholic Stations of the Cross.  It was nice to sit at each station, read each situation within the Gospels, and then just sit on them for a few minutes.  At the end there was a small chapel.  Inside they had some chairs, stain glass, and a box of tissues for all of the crying people were apparently doing after their walks.

There is a golden retriever on the site.  His name is Cooper and he is just like most retrievers; friendly, quiet, and goes for walks with you.

This retreat centre sits on the edge of a beautiful cliff overlooking a narrow river.  I went for a walk down to the river.  Cooper went with me about half way, and then he let me go down on my own.  I stood by the water.  I breathed.  I was quiet about it.  I was hoping to fill my heart back up, at least just a bit.  The sound of the river made me feel a bit fuller.

Back at the treehouse that evening.  There wasn’t anyone around.  I had run out of things to do and see.  So I sat and did nothing but think.  I had a notepad and sat there thinking about Care.

I must have sat there for an hour, writing down little thoughts that had come into my head.  I dwelt on them, prayed on them, and simply thought about how they could help me develop a Spirit of Care.

I would like to share some of those thoughts with you.

  • Power is evil.  From a lust for power all the way down to a sneaky kind of control you might not even realize you hold over someone.  We all wield some sort of power over someone else.  Power sticks to things.  It will grip tightly any sort of thing, place, position, or person.  Deal with your need for power and you will begin to live for others.
  • Peace is found in a simultaneous embrace and letting go.  What do I need to embrace?  What do I need to let go?
  • We are all shallow rivers; a small amount of clear water running over rock.  The goal of life, and the pain of it, is that you want that water to eventually wear down that rock.
  • Care is like gardening.  It’s easy to do.  Just some watering and weeding.  It’s so easy you can accidentally skip a day.
  • What thing do you have that you love more than you love others?
  • Once I realized that I should not be the sole focus of my thoughts and actions, I discovered that I could begin to learn how to respect myself.  Self respect is impossible when your every waking thought is focused and centred around your own life.
  • Try not to care about the things you shouldn’t care about.  Don’t ask, you know what they are.

It’s hilarious that I left the next morning feeling pretty much the same.  A real knee-slapper.  I had gathered some blocks to build my foundation with.  Yet, man is it hard not to feel selfish all the time.

I kept thinking back to the river, and what I said about the water wearing us down.  There are moments in each day where I can feel that water, pushing down, bending my back, and pressing.  In my mind, the water is breaking away all of the selfishness and weakness in me.  It’s making my back stronger.  Restoring my soul.  Perhaps, I hope, building up the strength for me to care.

So I’ll try to take it back, one interaction at a time.  I’ll listen.  I’ll take some time.  I’ll give myself grace, and offer the same amount to my neighbour.  These are good blocks to build with.  This is how I can care.

About The Author

brettgee

Trying to share good words within a world of noise. Introverted, but I need people.

1 COMMENT

  1. Jeff | 6th Dec 17

    Thanks!

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