So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NRSV)
I wrote the original version of this a few years ago, but today it is more relevant than ever. Health care has been one of the most prominent terms in the news for over a decade. Our nation is right now in the middle of perhaps the most heated discussion on health care in our nation’s history. We hear and talk about the cost of health care, legislation of health care, availability of health care … the list is almost endless.
We also talk about providing care, getting care, whether we get good care from our doctors, and whether someone gets good care at a long term care facility. People in relationships talk about whether the other person cares. Isn’t it funny in all this bandying of terminology, we seldom hear the word expressed as “caring”? Do you ever hear discussions about “health caring?” Long term caring? Wouldn’t it be interesting if the government renamed Medicare to be Medicaring?
How funny it seems that just adding the -ing to the word gives it a dimension of action. Maybe that’s why it won’t work for the government, but that’s another discussion. When we think about whether we are giving good care to someone today, maybe we can add that dimension of action as well. Caring doesn’t happen on paper, though medical care involves a fair amount of documentation. Caring happens live, between individuals, and is given as well as received. We might sound kind of foreign if instead of “I care for you,” we say, “I am caring for you,” but wouldn’t that rewire our brains for that dimension of action that care needs to have? If we really do care about people, then we should do more than just provide care. We should be actively caring, determined to share of our own selves.
Dale Carnegie said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”