The past few weeks have brought some unfamiliar challenges. I am quite certain, once again, that brain work takes much more energy than physical exertion. It always leaves me tired. Too bad it doesn't burn calories in the same way...
This morning I came to the realization that I have forgotten to put back into the Father's hands what I am not meant to carry on my own. He can handle anything that comes my way. He has a plan. He will work ALL things for good to those who love Him. I don't need to worry and I don't need to try and figure it all out, I only need to trust Him.
When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, one of his main concerns was his four weekly nursing home services. Who would be willing to go into these places each week? Who would bring the love of Jesus and a little bit of cheer to these all but forgotten people? Dad had no choice but to leave it in his Father's hands. Since mid-September my dear husband has gathered a small band of people and gone into one of "Dad's" nursing homes. Nathan doesn't play the guitar quite like his grandpa, and James doesn't share the message in quite the same way, but they do manage to bring a little bit of sunshine and a ray of hope into the lives of some beautiful people, and those people look forward to the visit.
It has been four months and each Monday evening I have stayed here in the quiet of my own home, leaving the job of encouragement to my husband and others. I listened to James encourage Hannah to go along this evening. She was reluctant. I thought of my own father who would have been so blessed to know I was going along, but as yet I hadn't. I decided to ignore my own selfish heart and go along. It made my husband smile.
The nursing home residents were gathered in the living room, mostly women, with expectant looks in their eyes. I watched my daughter, Bethany, go around the room looking into smiling eyes, reaching for wrinkled hands, giving hugs and kisses to old ladies who wouldn't recall her name the following week. I had to smile myself and reach for a hand or two, to kiss a forehead, and think of my mom who so enjoyed this little task but was to frail to come out tonight. We sang a few songs, "Onward Christian Soldiers," "The Old Rugged Cross," but when we began to sing "I'll Fly Away" I found myself getting choked up. It so reminded me of my dad and how he had stood up there so many times singing this song to the people week after week. I found my foot tapping just like his. After James shared a few scriptures, we sang one more song and it was time for more hugs, handshakes, and words of encouragement. I went away blessed and wished I had taken my camera to get a picture of Bethany tucked into that couch with three old and smiling ladies. I couldn't help but feel I was seeing these people through my father's eyes.
4 hours ago