Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Tightrope of Care-giving

A little over a year ago on June 15, 2012 some of you may have seen televised Nik Wallenda’s dream come true, as he walked across Niagara Falls between the U.S. and Canada on a tightrope. He covered the 1,800 feet in approximately 25 minutes walking the two-inch wire in elkskin-soled shoes and using a balance beam.

Now I would not recommend viewing Niagara Falls in this fashion. One might even argue the wisdom and even rightness of taking such a risk. I think there are lessons we can learn from this incident, however.

Much of life and certainly caregiving is filled with challenges. Because of the uncertainties and constant changes and declines of caregiving, it can feel as if one is in the middle of a storm or in imminent danger. Especially during caregiving one can not predict what the next year let alone the next month or day will bring. It can feel like one is walking in a fog on a tightrope. As Wallenda made his walk across Niagara Falls he found the heavy mist to be very challenging. Also the winds hit him and were definitely more than he expected. After awhile his forearms started to tense up, and he began feeling numb. The steps and days as a caregiver can feel the same way. 

ABC televised the walk but insisted Wallenda use a safety tether to prevent him from plunging into the roaring waters of Niagara Falls should he fall. I do not know how great a safety measure this was in reality, but I do know that Christian caregivers have a wonderful source of strength and safety in the Lord Jesus Christ. Caregiving can feel like walking over stormy waters, but the Lord is a reliable source of safety. Also Wallenda walked across that tightrope putting one foot in front of the other. That is what Christian caregivers and all believers need to do. They need to take life one step at a time focusing on the Lord and trusting Him.

When Wallenda stepped onto Canadian soil he was immediately asked for his passport, which he extracted from a protective pouch in his jacket. To me that passport is a picture of God’s Word and its promises. It is what helps us walk the tightrope and stormy situations of life like caregiving. 

Wallenda said that the prayers of others helped him immensely. He said it helped him reach the safety of the other side. So we too need to be willing to ask for and rely on the prayers of others when we are going through stormy times. Wallenda further said that in the middle of the wire he started thinking about his great-grandfather. His family’s legacy for performing daredevil stunts is what helped him persevere to the end. So we also can follow the examples of the Biblical saints and our godly ancestors who have gone before us. Their past faith can encourage us to be faithful and to trust God.

Christian caregiver, walk step by step focusing on the Lord as you experience the stormy waters of caregiving. Rely on God’s Word and prayer. Trust that God will get you to the other side. 


  1. I really love your writing this week Sharon. So much of what you wrote applies to everyone. Even if we are not caregivers anymore; we are our own caregivers. We need to make sure that we are moving in the right direction and keep taking our steps forward. Most importantly like you said towards the end "....walk step by step focusing on the Lord as you experience the stormy waters of caregiving. Rely on God’s Word and prayer. Trust that God will get you to the other side."

    I have shared this with my good friend who is a caregiver. She is in the middle of a storm and I think this will really help her.

    Thanks Sharon!

    <3 Cathy

  2. Thanks, Cathy! You are always a real source of encouragement. I appreciate that about you so much! Yes, I think it is true for all of us. We must focus on the Lord in life's stormy waters.

  3. Sharon, once again your blog is timely and encouraging to me as I care for my husband with AD. My heart aches for those caregivers that do not know the Lord and are trying to do this in their own strength. I know I need the Lord to do this, He is my strength and my everything. I'm glad you are here, I look forward to checking in on Mondays. Janet

  4. Thank you, Jan, for your comments. I am so glad you are finding this encouraging!