This has been a crazy week. I’ve been to two different nursing homes this week, and have heard of others going to them as well. I have to admit that nursing homes are not my favorite places in the world. They don’t smell good (but you can usually counter that by breathing through your mouth; or smoke a cheap cigar the day before-that will leave the smoke smell in your nostrils several days afterwards. I’ve never tried that, but I bet it would work). Other than that, I guess they’re not all that bad.
But beyond my preferences, God calls us to places such as these. That’s who God cares about (Psalm 68/James 1:27 among a bunch of other references), and that’s basically who Jesus visited. Since he was fully God, that’s no surprise.
One of the most amazing things about the trip to the nursing home on Sunday was a response a youth gave to his mother. “Did you have a good time?” He responded, “No Mom, I had a GREAT time.”
Why was this the case? I know he didn’t smoke any cigars before our trip; I always check. Did he eat some Frosted Flakes before he came? I cannot confirm that he didn’t, but it is highly unlikely.
The most logical explanation is that his parents take him with them whenever they are doing ministry. And why do they do this? Well there are probably a plethora of reasons, but I will give you one that I know to be true. Her mom always taught her, and I’m sure brought her, to be with and care for the sick and elderly. And I think that’s one reason why they have such a heart for people in nursing homes and hospitals. It has been instilled in them from a very young age.
I watch a fishing show that airs early Saturday mornings. Its really pretty bad; they don’t do a whole lot better than I feel I would do. But pickings are slim these days. Regardless, they always close with this line, “Do yourself a favor and take a kid fishing.” I think that is sound advice. But taking one with you to do ministry will have a much longer lasting and more beneficial effect.