Introductory Note:

Many in our midst serve as caregivers in their homes or communities. Caregiving is incredibly challenging—whether one enters that role as a chosen vocation, or comes to it by necessity. We share this excerpt from a new resource that is designed to help caregivers receive God’s love so that they can share it “with abandon” as they tend to the needs of another. Hope for Caregivers is a book of 42 daily devotions, combining timeless wisdom from Henri Nouwen with scripture and prayers. To our brothers and sisters who serve as caregivers—we bless you and thank you.

Renovaré Team

Tak­en from Week 1: The Eyes of Pain”

A word from Henri:

We live in a world that sug­gests one per­son is strong and anoth­er per­son is weak, or some peo­ple have it togeth­er and oth­ers do not. And that those who are strong should help the weak. Now that’s not what the gospel is speak­ing about. It belongs to the cen­ter of the gospel that God became vul­ner­a­ble. That God stripped him­self from pow­er. That he didn’t cling to his equal­i­ty with God, but emp­tied him­self and became a human being like we are. As a fol­low­er of Jesus, what I have to offer is first of all my own vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. My own weak­ness, my own bro­ken­ness, my own wounds. My wounds can only be a source of heal­ing for oth­ers if I care for my wounds, if I ban­dage them well with my will­ing­ness to cre­ate a fel­low­ship of the weak and trust that there God’s heal­ing pow­er will become visible.”

A word from the scripture:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equal­i­ty with God as some­thing to be exploit­ed, but emp­tied him­self, tak­ing the form of a slave, being born in human like­ness.” (Philip­pi­ans 2:5 – 7)


As a care­giv­er you may feel that you have to be strong for the sake of the one you care for. When Jesus emp­tied him­self of pow­er and became human, as we are, he showed us that our weak­ness­es and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties may be as much a gift of car­ing as any expe­ri­ence of knowl­edge and com­pe­tence. What we expect to see in the care­giv­ing rela­tion­ship may not be what God means for us to see. Recon­sid­er­ing the bal­ance of weak and strong may open our eyes.

• In what ways have you felt too weak to be a caregiver?

• How might accept­ing your own weak­ness change your rela­tion­ship with the one you care for?

God who offered vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to a bro­ken world, be the one who ban­dages wounds in a fel­low­ship of the weak. Amen.

Tak­en from Hope for Care­givers edit­ed by Susan Mar­tins Miller. Copy­right © 2022 by The Hen­ri Nouwen Lega­cy Trust and Church Health Cen­ter of Mem­phis Inc. Used by per­mis­sion of Inter­Var­si­ty Press. www​.ivpress​.com

Pho­to by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Text First Published August 2022 · Last Featured on June 2022

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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