Every other Tuesday I get the chance to spend the morning with a special group of people. The residents of a local nursing home, and not just any nursing home but one that specializes in patients with mental illness.
Several months ago I had been studying the scripture where Jesus says, what you did for the least of these you did for me. Our church is very involved in the community. We feed the homeless, hold sidewalk Sunday school, do a service at the jail, and minister to a lot of people others would never give a second glance to on a weekly basis. While it’s great that my husband and I pastor a church where outreach to people is such a vital part of our DNA, I had been feeling that I needed to do something on a personal level to show the love of Jesus to “the least of these”. When the activities director from the home called asking
if we had anyone who could come and do a bible study with the residents, I knew that was my answer.
The first time I went the director had taken a patient to an appointment and wasn’t there, so not knowing what exactly I was supposed to do, I approached a group of 7 or 8 people who were sitting on couches, introduced myself and told them I was there to do a Bible Study. I sat down on the fireplace ledge and opened in prayer then asked if they would like to sing a song to start things off. the answer was a resounding “NO”!
I was a bit flustered, and asked if they would like me to share the study I had prepared. By this point 4 of the 8 residents were asleep and the others said that would be fine. I began sharing with them from the word and 2 more fell asleep leaving only sweet Ms. J and one other awake. (Good thing I’m not too egotistical or I probably wouldve gotten my feelings hurt!) Ms. J answered everything I said with affirming comments, and she and I became fast friends. My next visit was much the same, with the director gone once again, but I already loved my every other Tuesday.
By the third visit, the director was there and I was shown to a bigger room filled with rocking chairs. They had rounded up about 25 residents and some of the nurses were waiting too. I started teaching a series on Believing God and almost everyone stayed awake! One of the nurses pulled me aside and asked for prayer, (which we have since seen answered).
My sweet friends have become so special to me. We pray, study the Word and worship together. I take requests for songs and am always tickled when a “Happy Birthday” gets thrown in with Oh How I love Jesus, because someone is sure that someone is having a birthday and we need to recognize them! Today they treated me with a rousing rendition of “Show Me How To Go Home” and “God Bless America” and it actually was someones birthday (he was 99!) so we sang that too! along with There’s Just Something About That Name and Jesus Loves Me.
Some of the people don’t recognize me from week to week, but I just smile and introduce myself again. One lady in particular won’t attend the Bible Study, but a month ago she decided she loved me and that it made her so happy that I would come visit. Even though she isnt lucid most of the time, she still lights up when I come find her and give her a hug.
In Luke 6:38 Jesus said “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
I have to respectfully disagree. For the small amount of myself that I give every other Tuesday, what I get back, while certainly running over, is not the same portion that I mete out. it’s far greater!