The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seem, you did it for me.” Matthew 25:40 (CEV)
Last week, I communicated with one of the senior members of our church who made the decision to live in a Long Term Care facility following her Rehabilitation treatment. During my nursing career, I have witnessed many individuals make the heart wrenching decision to give up their homes and most of their personal belongings to live in one room with minimal possessions, and hope for the best as they share living space with a total stranger.
On this past Sabbath, it was cold and rainy, and my arthritic knees ached immensely from the bitter elements of the weather. We made the decision to stay home and watch the televised and uplifting church service from Oakwood University Church. After eating an early dinner, I began to read an article on “His Will for my Family–Discovering God’s Plan and Purpose.”
At the conclusion of reading several articles in this Christian magazine, the Holy Spirit instructed me to prepare myself to leave for visitation to the nursing home. I placed several layers of clothing on, kissed my surprised husband good-bye, and took the 5 minute ride to the facility where I had worked as a Charge Nurse 38 years ago. (My life took a full circle when God instructed me to return to Texas where I resided from 1976-1987.)
As I parked the car, and looked at the building, the vague memories as a Nurse sending out patients to the hospital began to return when I saw the ambulance and the paramedics exit with a resident on the stretcher. I quickly glanced to make certain it was not the individual I had planned to visit.
When I entered the building, my mind immediately attempted to place me as the young and inexperienced nurse on her first job. I greeted several residents sitting in the lobby, and was in awe that the building was exactly the same as I remembered it. I passed the office where I could remember wheeling the heavy cart of patient charts to document the significant events during the shift. I was no longer entering to render healthcare for patients; however, I still have a responsibility to render spiritual care as defined by God.
Although my role has changed, God’s plan and purpose for my life remains unchanged. My priority as I entered the nursing home was to minister to others from a spiritual perspective. What a joyful blessing the three of us received as we shared laughter, memories of our respective lives, discovered common bonds, and acknowledged God’s grace and mercy through our aging process. We read the Word of God and offered a prayer of thanksgiving for our blessings of life.
I exited the familiar building feeling more enriched and blessed than when I entered. I am thankful that when God spoke to me and said, “Get dressed and go” that I was obedient.
Helpful hands and Obedient hearts-Our duty to God and Others.
Challenge for today: Make the commitment to visit someone in need on a weekly basis!
Prayer for today: Dear God, Please give us the desire to leave our comfort zones and reach out to those in need. Help us to put all excuses aside for not fulfilling your plan and purpose for our lives. We ask you to forgive us and bless us as we move forward. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz