Mary is a former pastor’s wife who served the Lord and people for decades. She is in her 80’s now and is a resident in the Good Samaritan Center nursing home in the memory care unit. Because this nursing home is part of the retirement village where I now live, I have the opportunity to visit the dear ones who have been placed there.
When I enter the memory care unit behind locked doors, I notice Mary among others whom I greet. She has a beautiful, soft countenance (unless she is in pain~then a frown shows). Our greeting of one another usually begins with a song! Mary has a strong alto voice and an extensive repertoire of hymns. When I begin to sing the following hymn she joins in with perfect harmony:
“Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life.
Let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words
of life! Words so freely given, wooing us to heaven,
beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.”
(Philip Bliss 1874)
Although Mary’s brain is being ravaged by a terrible, debilitating disease, she still knows her God, her Savior, and the Holy Spirit’s comfort. I don’t mean to single Mary out because most of the dear ones who are spending their evening years in this nursing home have a relationship with Christ. As we sing together she is ministering to me, to the other residents, to the nurses, CNA’s and housekeeping workers; that there is HOPE for our future if we are secure in Christ our Savior.
One evening as I was leaving, most of the residents were already in bed for the night; I heard a strong voice coming from a darkened room down the hall. I peeked in and saw Mary on her bed with both arms raised high and singing, Blessed Assurance………”This is my story, this is my song…..Praising my savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song….Praising my Savior……all the day long!” (Fanny Crosby 1873)
Oh God, help me to never forget the HOPE I have in You. No matter what comes my way, I know, that I know….that You are real, You are alive; You care. You sent your Only Son to die and shed His blood for me for the covering of my sins. One day You will come again to this earth and take me home to be with you forever.
This is the HOPE that changes everything that I think, feel, say and do. I pray you have this HOPE as well, because it surely makes life fulfilling.
Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His Mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the HOPE of eternal life.”