Monday, March 7, 2011

Touching the Elderly

Yesterday our family had the privilege of taking our music to a nursing home and sharing. We gathered our instruments and equipment and headed to St. Johns, Az. We went in and met the lovely elderly gentlemen and ladies as well as the friendly staff on duty. As we set up our equipment and spoke for a few minutes, Jeff introduced the family. We sang for about 20 minutes and laughed and joked with everyone and they seemed to enjoy themselves. Some of them were clapping while others were smiling. At the end of each song they were very gracious and applauded. The music went well and we had a good time sharing with them.

But our favorite part of these visits is always the time, after the singing is over, that we spend getting to know them and listening to their stories and advice. They are so full of valuable wisdom and have had so many experiences that we can learn from. There is so much to appreciate and admire about them as we learn about their lives. They tell us where they are from and about their spouses and families. Some of them have had very difficult lives and yet they don't complain. Visitors came in and out while we there but there are those that don't have anyone coming to see them personally.
As we sat with them, we held their hands and answered their questions. Sometimes they asked the same question over and over. But it didn't matter because we knew they couldn't remember the answers. They are very sincere, attentive and gentle. One of the ladies was sharing all about her husband and their life together and then she brought out her memory book to share with me. I was so blessed as she shared this personal part of her past with me, a total stranger. One said she wanted to pray for our family and ministry. Several asked when we were coming back. We know it's not because of the music. They felt loved and special because of the time spent with them. We held their hands and listened to their stories.

This has not always been easy for our children. When we began this ministry many years ago, it felt very awkward talking to these strangers. Sometimes they would repeat themselves or forget their own names. But they have learned to love and serve these beautiful people. It has been a wonderful opportunity for growing in the Lord and to look beyond themselves.
On the way home, we were so excited to have made the connections with our new friends. They are such treasures.

As the song goes:
Make new friends but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.

 The blessing that we felt is more than words can express. We were very thankful that we took the time to be with them and get to know them. It TRULY is more blessed to give than it is to receive.
Jeff made the comment, " It seems like those are the kinds of places where you would find Jesus hanging around." We all agreed. And we are looking forward to the next time we are able to go visit some of the lonely and hurting.

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to me.
Matthew 25:40

God Bless

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful experience! I'm sure they were all blessed. What an awesome way to mininster to the sick and elderly!
God Bless You and your family.