Shining Light to Seniors

ROSE

For a couple of years, we lived right across the street from "my" nursing home. This made it possible for me to stop in more often and visit one-on-one with the residents. We had an arrangement with the administration that if the scheduled church did not show up for their Sunday afternoon meeting, they could call us and we would run right over to fill in.

One day, our daughter, Georgia, joined me in doing some visiting at the home.  Room by room we went, spending time with those with whom I had established a relationship. We stopped in to see a lady named Henrietta, a tiny very old lady with a single braid that went to her waist. She was so frail and soft spoken. I'll tell you her story on another page.

That day, though, as we were having such a nice chat with her, the woman in the next bed began to yell things like, "Why are you here? What are you doing? Get out of here!" It was Rose, a lady that I did not know.

Understandably, we were shook up by this hollering. I got up and walked to her bedside and said, "I'm sorry, Rose. We didn't mean to disturb you." She paid no attention to me. Instead, her eyes were fixed on something toward the window.

"Get away from here!" she yelled.

I asked her what was wrong. Were we bothering her? Had we been loud?

"Can't you see them? They are coming to get me. Can't you see the fire?" It was pretty awful.

It's hard to sufficiently relate the horror of her distress. This was a freaky moment for both Georgia and me. This lady was either hallucinating, dreaming or experiencing something from "the other side."

I began to share Jesus with her, telling her of His great love and of the wonderful story of salvation. She rebuked me soundly by telling me not to talk to her about religion--she and her husband had gone to church their whole lives and had sat in the same pew all those years. What she was saying told me exactly what her background had been. She was steeped heavily in it.

She continued to look off into the air, crying out with fervency for whoever it was to leave her alone--she did not want to go with them. She used her hands to violently shove them away.

For a while longer, I tried to calm her, stroking her head and speaking words of kindness to her. I prayed for guidance and continued to quote appropriate Scripture to her. Finally, I prayed for her and Georgia and I left.

I clearly remember Georgia's eyes as we hurried across the lawn and across the street to our house. They as big as saucers! I'm quite sure mine were, too. We had just experienced something that neither one of us wanted to chalk off as a tirade by a demented old woman.

As soon as I got in the house, I called the prayer chain. In a matter of 10 or 15 minutes, a large number of folk were praying for this lady...and for me...for I knew I would have to back.

The following Sunday, I gingerly walked into her room, not knowing what to expect. I went in the power of the Lord and in the assurance of the prayers of my fellow Christians. I could immediately detect a calmer Rose. For that I was thankful!

I'm sure I pulled up a chair beside her bed. I'm sure I asked if she remembered me; if I did, I don't remember what she said. I know that I told her the precious gospel story, of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and of His power over death and hell and the devil. We talked, Rose and I, and at the end of our conversation, she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior!

At this nursing home, there was another Christian worker who belonged to another church. We'd stop and chat once in a while--actually very seldom. One day, though, she stopped me in the hall and said, "You know, Rose really did get saved. It shows. There is a big difference."

I'll tell you what I think after pondering the story for a long time. From the intensity of Rose's cries for help and the fear on her face and in her eyes, I believe the enemy was closing in to snatch away another victim. Perhaps it was the presence of two Christians in the room (although we had said very little to Henrietta about the Lord and that, very quietly).

I guess I'll never know for sure. What I do know for sure is that during my second visit, in answer to prayer, Rose was attentive and open to the gospel. Based upon God's Word, Rose is with Him right now!