|And effortless way to bring a smile to nursing home residents' faces is to carry a baby down the hallway. This is my mom with her youngest grandson, Isaac.|
And then, a few nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night with the words, "Feed my sheep," in my heart. And the mind picture that accompanied those words was of those elderly faces at the nursing home.
We tend to think of mission work as something that happens far away from home. We also have the idea that God always wants us to spend our efforts where the highest number of people will benefit. It is true that the fields are white with harvest and that the workers are few (John 4:35). But it is also true that we serve a Good Shepherd who cares very much about the needs of even one lost lamb.
We have to be careful that we follow the Lord's call to the field of His choosing. This almost always entails giving up the desire to please our fellow human beings. It's the workers who build houses for the homeless or dig wells for needy people far away that are invited to speak at church functions; no one presents a slideshow of how they sang hymns with one elderly woman in a rural nursing home on a Saturday afternoon. We need the homebuilders and well diggers, but we also need to be certain that we don't choose more alluring fields of mission than the ones the Lord has assigned us.
I have received more than I have given to these precious folks They are so willing not only to be blessed but also to give a blessing. Yesterday I grasped the hand of a lady who was sitting in the hallway. She was beautiful with her white hair and bright eyes and I told her so. One of the workers passed by and told me that this lady was 104 years old. I was astounded and turned back to her and said, "My goodness I hope I can do as well as you as I grow older."
She patted my hand, looked into my eyes, and said comfortingly, "You will, you will." It might be a little silly but my heart received this as a blessing, and I left feeling uplifted.
This isn't the field I would have chosen for myself. I would like to be one of those energetic people who fly across the ocean to meet needs I would have judged to be greater. But this is where God has placed me, and I am blessed.