After the meeting at Maple Crest on the first Sunday of October, a lovely lady, in a quiet voice, said she’d like to buy a songbook. She went with the activities assistant to get the money from her room and returned with 36 quarters, wrapped in a napkin, and a plea to be able to send the missing dollar to me. I told her that $9 was perfectly okay. When I got home, it hit me that the $9 was very possibly her last money and I knew what I had to do.
On Monday, I wrapped the 36 quarters up in a plastic bag, added 4 more and headed off to the nursing home. I didn’t even know if she would remember me, but her expression told me immediately that she did. I knelt down beside her and gave her the little bag of quarters. She did not want to take it and resisted in her very frail manner, but I assured her that I wanted to give her the book as a gift.
She tole me that she LOVES the book and that she had been reading the words and knows some of the songs. I knew I had to speak with her about eternity. I asked if she knew where she would spend eternity if she died. She did not. I spent some time with her, kneeling besider her with people milling all about, telling the story of salvation. I prayed and then asked her to pray. She prayed to ask Jesus to be her Savior! I went to see her later that week. As I was leaving, I said, "I'm glad you accepted Jesus as your Savior." She put her hand on mine and said sincerely, "I am, too."
Sometimes, I stand looking out upon the roomful of wheel chairs and woefully think, "Oh, how I wish I had just one person to come to this place and share the gospel!" The nursing homes are the last stop, so to speak. Most of the time, the folk there, die there. I always stop and wonder, when I hear that one of them is gone, "Where are they now?"
Reaching the elderly in nursing homes is a momentous task, but, it's funny, it's so simple that I don't think there is anyone who can't do it. There is heaven and there is hell. And there is the good news. We must carry it and share it. Today. Tomorrow is too late.