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Posted: April 13, 2006

Spousal Caregiving

The Ultimate Computer Test

Bill Andrew

In the Christian tradition, this week in 2006 is Holy Week -- the last week of Lent. It is also the week during which the Jewish holiday of Passover (Pesach) takes place. The purpose of Holy Week is to reenact, relive, and participate in the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The observance of Holy Week includes:

• Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday) -- the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem

• Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) -- the institution of Eucharist (Communion) and the betrayal by Judas

• Good Friday -- the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus

• Holy Saturday (Sabbath) -- Jesus rested in the tomb

The solemnity of Holy Week prepares Christians for observance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday -- the day on which Christians celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The Jewish name for Sunday is "the first day of the week" also known as the "Festival of First Fruits." Since Sunday is the eighth day after the creation as described in Genesis, Paul describes Jesus' Resurrection as the first fruits of the new creation in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.

Holy Week is the same in both the eastern and western Christian churches. Generally, the western Church consists of Catholics, Protestants, and Anglicans while the eastern Church consists of the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the eastern-rite churches affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. However, because eastern Christians use the Julian Calendar to calculate Easter, the celebrations occur at different times although the events of Holy Week are the same, both east and west, relative to the date of Easter.

I provide the above as background for the following story which reflects the triumph of good over evil -- the triumph of Jesus over death -- the triumph of Jesus over Satan.

_____

The Ultimate Computer Test

Jesus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly, God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and, from those results,I will judge who does the better job."

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.

They faxed.

They E-mailed.

They E-mailed with attachments.

They downloaded.

They did spreadsheets.

They wrote reports.

They created labels and cards.

They created charts and graphs.

They did some genealogy reports.

They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then,10 minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course ,the power went off.

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld

Jesus just sighed. 

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! I lost everything when the power went out!"

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.

Satan observed this and became irate. "Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said: "Jesus saves."

_____

Is there a message here for Christians?

Is there a message here for spousal caregivers?

Is there a message here for everyone?

I think so. You see, we all have "holy weeks" each and every week that we provide care for our spouses. Jesus knew what He was going to suffer as He prepared for the "ultimate test" -- His death and resurrection. We also know what we are going through each week as we also take the "ultimate test" -- taking care of our spouses with compassion, love, and patience. While Jesus knew the end results of his "ultimate test", we spousal caregivers can only do the best we can since we "know not the time nor the hour" of our "ultimate test."

The above story -- "the ultimate computer test" -- demonstrates that, if we are prepared, we spousal caregivers will also be "saved." I have written many columns on how to be prepared as a spousal caregiver based upon my own personal experiences as a spousal caregiver for my wife, Carol, who has late-stage Alzheimer's disease. If you have not already done so, I would urge you to search the "spousal archive" on this page.

I hope and pray that this Holy Week will help you to prepare to be a better caregiver for your spouse. I know that my personal experiences this week have already helped me to be more compassionate, more loving, and more patient with Carol. If all else fails, I would suggest prayer. Satan has a way of off-setting some of our good works for our spouses. Jesus has a way of off-setting many of the problems that we encounter as caregivers for our spouses -- "Jesus saves!"

I would choose to be saved by Jesus! How about you?

If you have any thoughts on the above and would like to share them with other readers of this column, drop me a line at ASKBill@caregivershome.com.

WORDS TO CARE BY . . .

"It's not how much we give,

but how much love we put into giving."

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-97)


Bill Andrew identifies himself as a former “nutritionally-empowered Alzheimer’s caregiver” who attributes the slow-down in progression of Alzheimer’s disease in his wife, Carol – and the growth of his own personal emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual capability and strength to provide quality 24/7 care for her in their own home – to the targeted nutritional supplements they both took on a daily basis. Carol went to her Heavenly reward on June 9, 2008 – Bill continues on to advocate for family caregivers. Contact Bill with your caregiving questions and comments via email at ASKBill@caregivershome.com.

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© 2006 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

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