This is national Nursing Home Week and I wanted to take this day to remember the many staff members who have sacrificially helped out and have given so much to make our outreach possible. If you are one of these people I want to say a big heart felt THANK YOU and God Bless!!!
Thank you for bringing residents to our meetings every week, year after year.
Thank you for taking time to bring us to the rooms of people needing an extra prayer
Thank you for encouraging the residents to sing and by singing along
Thank you for special cards and gifts that made us feel appreciated and loved
Thank you for your gentle and sometimes funny way of dealing with unlovely situations
Thank you for (almost) never complaining
Thank you for the flexibility of allowing us to meet out in the garden when the dining room was being remodeled!
Thank you for reminding us of the residents’ birthdays so we can make them feel special
Thank you most of all for being co-laborers with us in the work of taking care of even the least of these in the world’s eyes because every one of them matters to Jesus Christ!
Though there were no institutions like nursing homes in the days of Jesus, there definitely were the same kinds of people who lived in them. That society had no social security, government health insurance or orphanages. The poor and helpless either were cared for by family or were thrown out to beg on the street. In the Bible we read a story of one woman we will call Rosemary, who teetered on the edge of destitution. Rosemary was a widow being supported by her only son. Then the worst happened. That son was struck down by some disease or accident. The morning as she followed his coffin on the way out of the city she wept not only for the loss of her child, but also because her future seemed dark and foreboding. Then Jesus came!
Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow…Luke 7:11-12 ESV
It is interesting that village of Nain was only about 12 miles from Nazareth; but this is the only time we know of that Jesus visits there. In the same way that Nain was close to Jesus’ home, nursing homes are close by every one of us. We drive by them every day without realizing that inside those walls are people who are just like Rosemary. While some receive regular visits from loved ones, most are simply forgotten.
Easter is now past and many of us are planning where we will go or what we will do on our summer vacations. Why couldn’t we also plan to make a shorter trip and begin to visit people like Rosemary who live near us and bring them the message that God has not forgotten?
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
Often lost in the whole pro-life/ pro-choice debate is the heart of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the defender of life but we must not be so focused on life beginning at conception; that we forget it doesn’t end at birth. In God’s eyes; life is not only about its opening chapter, but also about its closing lines. The same Savior, who writes down the name of every child in His book also offers to carry each of us in His arms to the very end. Where we stand on the issue of life is not only about what we say, but more importantly is about what we do. How we chose to invest our time and hearts in the lives of others will reap returns for all eternity. What better pro-life statement can we make than to serve the real people in our own small corner of this world from conception to their final breath?
Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4