"The Amish teach that the sick, the elderly, and the dying are gifts to the community because of the love and care they bring forth. That's a beautiful and generous way to think about what my 'contribution' may be now to a community in which I used to be much more 'useful.' Allowing others to be generous and tender, giving them occasion for the sacrifices of time and energy that deepen their investment in my life, may seem like a necessary evil, but perhaps it's a necessary good. I am still a participant. And I cling to the poet Wendell Berry's helpful observation: 'Love changes, and in change is true.' The way they love me, and I them, has to change. May God help us all accept these changes with grace and kindness.

" 'Gracious God, my help in time of trouble, teach me to accept help with grace. Dispel my shame and bring, in its place, peace, patience, and gratitude for those who minister to me. Let me recognize your loving touch in theirs.
"I am weak, but Thou art strong. . . .' "