This past Wednesday was my last service at Allied Nursing Home after 23 years as volunteer chaplain. I was deeply moved by the expression of love and thoughtfulness of so many. I want to thank each of you who have liked, loved or commented on this special moment. While I deeply appreciate all the good wishes I would most of all love to see others step up to get involved in some way, because these years have been all about remembering the residents who are often forgotten by others. To help anyone who is interested in getting involved , I am running a free book promotion over labor day week-end of all my books dealing with nursing home ministry. Here are the links to two of them. Reflections is a daily reader devoted to residents, family members, staff or anyone else touched by the challenges of long term care.
Reflections of Hope
There are also 4 other books that concentrate on training and inspiring volunteers, but I will just post the link to the most comprehensive of these:
Nursing Home Ministry -The Heart of Jesus Christ
In John’s gospel He begins with the astonishing statement, In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.
The same God who created light chooses to love us from a hidden darkness through which we can only see by faith. Because we cannot see our Heavenly Father we are pressed deeper each day into an absolute dependence on His word. How I wish some days that I could sit around the campfire with Jesus and ask Him questions and share with Him my longings and fears. But He simply smiles from His secret place even as I write these words and waits for my heart to still. Then in that silence comes springing from a place known only to God that joy no words can tell. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
“ Lord , make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Psalms 39:4 NKJV
For 23 years it has been my great privilege to lead the chapel services at Allied. What began as a visit to a friend blossomed into meetings in three different wards every week. Each group was unique in its needs, pace and personality. The Alzheimer’s day room was usually packed, lively and yes unpredictable! But they loved music and often sang along, tapped their feet or at least smiled. Today they each made farewell cards I will treasure always. The respiratory ward was just a small meeting yet it was like meeting with family and I often shared my most personal feelings there. The general population was the place where God taught me how to share His word honestly and simply in 12 minutes! I have measured those years in my mind 1000 times and I wouldn’t want to have missed a single day. I have learned that 1 day in God’s house is more valuable than 1000 anywhere else on earth!