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?
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV
Since early on in nursing home ministry I have been gripped by the passion for two things- the overwhelming needs and the few that seem to notice. Society finds nursing homes convenient parking lots for the weakest members of our community. Our disabled, our elderly and our injured are professionally cared for but mostly forgotten except by Jesus Christ. Our calling as shepherds for this portion of God’s flock includes prayers for Him to send help.
Over the years of my time doing my best to meet needs and pray desperately for help I have discovered that God hears but answers in unexpected ways. I thought people from our church would come to serve communion but God sent willing staff members to cheerfully help. I felt that our prayer group would be moved to earnestly intercede for the needs, but God sent family members along with a few of the residents themselves to pray. If you are a fellow worker, a care giver or a concerned staff member remember that your prayers can reach far beyond your own abilities to help. Then after you have prayed ask God to give you eyes and ears to hear and see how He is answering! Have a blessed week in the love of Jesus!
Once a month my church goes to a local nursing home and spends time with the residents. We may sing a few songs, someone gives a brief word of encouragement (sometimes I do), and we pray with every resident that desires it. At first when I started to attend, it was very uncomfortable. The nursing […]
via Nursing Home Ministry — DP’s Everyday Simple Life