I once had a friend named Jerri. I visited her at a local nursing home weekly for over a year. She passed on to be with the Lord back in March. I know she went to be with the Lord. She accepted Jesus Christ as her savior and became a born again Christian during one of my visits, when I read her the Bible. Jerri had asked me to start in the book of Matthew and I did, reading to her each visit.
Jerri couldn’t walk because the arthritis she had twisted up her feet so they were not flat on the bottom, splaying each toe off in a slightly different direction. She also had a weight problem from her inability to move her body or exercise. She lived the last years of her life on her back, taken out of her bed only for a shower, with the use of a lift. Jerri did absolutely everything, and I literally mean everything, on her back and left shoulder.
During my visits we ate special lunches together and shared two Christmases. When I was out of state my husband filled in. He took her a bottle of pop, a chocolate chip cookie and read to her that week’s chapters from our current Christian fiction book. She loved being read to. Her fingers were crinkled up from the arthritis, similar to her toes, preventing her from holding a book or turning a page.
When Jerri died I stayed home awhile. Then one day in August the Lord told me to go back to meet another person. I thought about it, but I didn’t go. In September He nudged me and I dropped by the home and spoke to Linda, the administrator, about visiting someone new. It was about a week later I received the call that they had a couple of possibilities. I made an appointment and went in to discuss my potential candidates.
Even as Linda told me a little about Mary, the Lord cautioned me this wasn’t the one. I met Mary and told Linda I’d see how it worked out but I wasn’t sure she was who God had sent me to. Being a Christian, Linda understood. I visited Mary twice and she didn’t want to visit and told me so. But I was determined to see it through. The third visit she was asleep and couldn’t be roused. I went looking for Linda. She and another staff person suggested I consider the other possibility and we went to visit Mavis in her room. I asked Mavis if I could visit her the next week. She indicated yes. She doesn’t easily speak except for a word or two.
That day I learned Mavis is mostly alone. Her husband is deceased. She has a child who can barely take care of their self much less stand in the gap for a mother who needs someone to support her emotionally. To say I thought of you this week, or I’ve enjoyed our time together.
The Lord knows how much Mavis loves Him. He sent me to beat back the lonliness and read His word to her, indicating ‘I love you, favored child.’
The following week Mavis and I went down to the cafeteria and had coffee, something she loves, and I asked if she wanted to hear the Bible. “Yes” she said, and delight spread out across her face leaving a glow as her eyes sparkled. During our first chapter of Matthew her face filled with light that can only have come from God’s Holy Spirit and it touched my heart, telling me that for now she was exactly the person I’ve been sent to minister to and treat like she’s a child of the King, because she is. That I’m there because He has not forgotten her.
I can hardly wait to see how our friendship progresses and what the Lord reveals to me about her and about me through her.
(NAMES OF ALL LIVING PERSONS HAVE BEEN ALTERED.)