Sunday, December 25, 2005

Nursing Home Staff

Today I went with my parents to visit one of their former neighbors who is in her 90's and has been in a nursing home for several years. Christmas Day in a nursing home isn't my idea of something I want in my future, but today it gave me a glimpse of God's common grace.

I expect nursing home staff to be pleasant, and despite working on Christmas, all but one that I saw seemed to be so today. The one who was not, was more than pleasant. She was bubbling. She was joy in a white uniform and a Santa hat. While we were sitting in the room with our friend, I heard her talking to a number of residents in their rooms or in the hallway. She sounded as though all the residents were her dear grandparents. I don't remember all that she said. I know there were lots of "Merry Christmases" and plenty of questions—not the "How are you today" stuff—conversational questions that demanded some time and thought on her part.

I don't know this woman. I didn't talk to her. I have no reason to think that she is a believer or that any of her conversations ever have anything to do with the gospel. I do suspect that some folks who had little or no contact today with family or friends outside the home were grateful to know that someone cared about them, and not just the kind of care that someone got paid to provide.

She made me think. Do I show people in my church, my neighborhood, and my workplace that I care—really care, not just "chatty conversation/how are you today?" care? Do I live the gospel in a way that gives anyone any reason to think that it really matters to me, or does playing church satisfy my soul?

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