Shining Light to Seniors


As I walked the halls on Easter some time around 2000, I was in prayer, asking God to lead me where He wanted me to go. I started down one wing, but I sensed strongly the leading of the Holy Spirit to turn around and go the other way. I walked slowly, praying while cheerfully visiting.
There was man sitting in his wheelchair in the middle of his doorway. I stopped to say hello and to ask him if he knew what day it was. He did not. I told him that it was Easter and went my way. The Lord urged me to go back.

I went back and settled in to talk to Arthur. I leaned against the wall next to where he was sitting and shared the story of Easter with him. After a few minutes, I turned to look at the name plate right next to my head. I was shocked! Arthur had been my neighbor for a short while when we rented a home in Woodstock.

“Arthur!” I said. “You and I were neighbors!”

This was the beginning of two years of friendship. I had watched him from my bedroom window caring for his garden, carrying plastic gallon containers full of water to pour on his very large patch of vegetables. Back and forth he would go tending his beautiful garden. He lived with his mother.


Now I heard the rest of the story. He had gone out to get the mail on an icy January day and slipped, fell, and broken his leg. He was supposed to spend a few weeks at the nursing home. Instead, he was there for good. His 102 year old mother, who now had no one to care for her, was taken to a different home. Arthur was not happy to be there. He had been a mailman. He had a degree in engineering. He was smart and hurt. I set my heart to reach him for Christ. He did not want to hear. He would tell me, “I am a scientist. I only believe what I can see.” Yet, I prayed for him for two years and visited him faithfully.

We had such fun talking about gardening and about his trips down to see his mother who turned 103 and then 104. Every week I shared the gospel with him, searching for the key that would open his heart to listen. After two years, I decided to push him a little.

I told him about my wonderful dad, a smart and tough man, who for years did not want to believe in Christ. “But,” I told Arthur, “one day, my very smart dad bowed before the Lord and told Him that he believed that He had died for his sins.” I told Arthur about the change in my very smart dad. I told him that I wanted him to think about the things that I had told him about Jesus for two years, and that the next week when I came, I was going to ask him to decide what he was going to do about it.

People were praying. Ken and I were praying. The next week I asked him, “Okay, Arthur. It’s time for you to decide about this. Surely you know that I love you and that you can trust me to be telling you the truth. What do you want to do?”

Right away, he said, “I want to pray.” And he did!

He went downhill shortly thereafter, but we spent lots of moments after that, learning Bible verses and simple Christian songs. I have a precious video of the two of us singing together and quoting John 3:16. Was it worth the two years? Oh, my goodness! How grateful I am to know that he is with the Lord!