Shining Light to Seniors


The songbooks that I have used since the beginning of the nursing home ministry are from Sonshine Society off in the northwest somewhere...Washington, I think. They are wonderful hymnbooks with very large print. The elderly people comment on them all the time. Through the years, some have tried to hide them away and take them to their rooms; others have wanted to buy them. Until recently, I did not go that route to avoid the task of having to replenish the supply. Lately, if someone asks, they can buy one for $10. That covers the cost of the book and shipping.

Last Sunday, a wonderful little old lady asked for one. I told her the price and she and the activities director slowly went to her room for the money. When she returned, she had 36 quarters wrapped up in a paper napkin. She apologized that she only had nine dollars and wanted to send me the one dollar she lacked. I, of course, assured her that it was not necessary. We went back and forth and I finally convinced her. She held the book like she had just won the lottery. "Oh, I love this book," she said.

Later, I got to thinking that if this was this lady's last $9.00, I should have been more sensitive. I decided to take the money back to her and add four quarters to make it $10.


Today, I found her sitting in her wheelchair, in line for the doctor. I didn't even know for sure if she would remember me, but her expression told me immediately that she did. I knelt down beside her and gave her the quarters all wrapped up in a plastic bag. She did not want to take it and resisted in her very frail manner, but I assured her that I wanted to give her the book as a gift. "You are the only one who asked for a book," I told her, "and that made you very special to me."

She told me she has been reading the words and knows some of the songs. I knew I had to confront her about eternity. I asked her if she knew where she would spend eternity if she died. She did not. Yes, she believed in Jesus and even said that she loves Him; but she did not know about calling upon Him for salvation. I spent some time with her, there with people milling all around us, telling her of the love of God in sending His Son to pay the price for our sin. I asked her some questions and felt that she was not truly saved.

I asked if I could pray. She said "yes." Then I asked her to pray. She prayed to ask Jesus to be her Savior. Those are the happiest moments of my life.

I told her I'd be back to see her. She was glad. What a sweet lady! She's on her way to heaven now.