Well does this title leave you wondering what is going on in my brain...well I am sure you are not the only one..I often wonder that myself... So this past weekend has really convicted my heart on something that has always been dear to me but recent events confirmed it.
The second Saturday at our church we have what is called Second Saturday serve. In a nutshell that is where a couple campuses in that area come together to go do things into the community on a regular basis. Everything to working at a women's shelter, food pantry, loading semis with stuff to ship over seas, painting nails at a assisted living home etc...the list goes on. We get the chance to go spread out and show Christs love to the community with several different avenues or to what fits our calling.
What I have always said is we come into this world as a baby and we often go out that way. Not able to take care of ourselves and depending on others to meet our staple of needs..to be fed, bathed, changed etc....most of the time as a baby we get that care as we age to become elderly they don't.
I have always loved elderly people. They just make me happy. Sure they come with certain smells such as flowery perfume and well there is others lol, but the knowledge and life lessons they have is pretty amazing. When I heard what pretty in polish was yep right up my alley. We go to a assisted living home and we give them manicures...very simple ones. They include a hand massage, filing nails, and painting them. When we get there they are literally lined up in the foyer waiting for 10:00 to get there. Some of them are younger ladies that have minor issues that they need assisting and can't live by themselves, others have more severe ones that need all sorts of care. What I know is this rather big or little cares what they need is hands on interaction and just for people to listen to them. My first thing I do is set my stuff down and go hug and kiss a couple of those precious ladies that I have formed a bond with. We have one that is 94 years old...Her name is Mami and she is adorable. Her stories she tells us over and over but man just to make it to 94...seriously. Another on named Betty is honory as the day is long. Her mindset is as a child so she tends to go on tyrants yelling at others to shut up or leave her alone but seeing she can't help it, it is something we would not tolerate from someone who knows better but with her it is understandable. You just chuckle as they correct her and think how precious she is.
The list could go on about all of them but I have one lady that I am particularly fond of, Cecelia. She is just so precious. She has the most beautiful gray hair, ocean blue eyes and a striking smile that will knock your socks off. We have formed a bond that is usually just me talking. I know I hear your thoughts...if you know me you are going I am shocked..lol Well truthfully she can barely talk. She had a stroke some years back. Don't know for sure how long but her whole right side from her shoulder to her foot is paralyzed thus having to use a stroke cane. She has very limited speech but her eyes say it all. They say all I need to know. When I first started going she was randomly next in line so I got her. It was my first time so I was nervous. I am by NO MEANS in a place to do manis...for crying out loud I can't keep from biting my own nails much less be qualified to do anyone elses but with them they don't care plus I knew their eyesight would not be so up to par that I could get away with small imperfections...sad to say but yep I thought that. So as she came up to my spot I was so excited. To back track some well lots of years ago we had a family friend name Cecil, he passed away some years ago. He too had had a stroke with very very limited communication. If you got something right....he would said right right and shake his head up and down....if it was wrong he would say boop boop and the guessing game started all over again. Seeing Cecelia brought back the times with Cecil. It seems to me that stroke victims that lose there ability to talk vocally but they use the same common language..not just vocally yes and no but with there eyes. When you guess right the thought of them being understood makes an excitement come out of their face I can't even begin to explain. As I grabbed different lotions to massage her hands I let her smell all of them to see what she wanted on her hands. Well the Sheer Freesia was the winner. I remember doing her left hand first since it has not been the one affected by the stroke. I remember asking her if it felt good or did it hurt...she said yes it felt good...so I proceeded. Obviously I did not want to hurt her very fragile hands. As I got to the other side I wanted to be very mindful to be easy...not knowing how much feeling she had in it and did not want to hurt her or bruise her as they do so easy. So as I started massaging her other hand the look on her face was so priceless but so heartbreaking at the same time. I asked her if it that felt okay....she said yes and kind of rolled her eyes in that way of I have not been touched like that in a while. I said is this to hard on your hands...she said no...and took a big sigh. It made me so thankful to be there but so sad to know that the elderly go along in there lives and they may never have anyone just touch them, hug them, or hold there hand while they are telling a story. Not in a romantic way but a way that just says to them someone cares. Someone here just really loves you and wants to focus/listen to you. I often ask her questions just chatting as I do her hands...I know to ask questions that have short yes/no answers but if longer than that she spells it out on the table...that makes for a fun time so sometimes I ask her those so we can giggle as we play guess that letter...lol. When I am finished I come around pull her chair out from under the table help her up, get Cecelia her cane...walk her across the other side of the room get her settled... hug and kiss her cheek and tell her see her next time. I learned after a couple times of going that it may be the last time as one passed away while in surgery...the next month we came back Mazi was no longer there.
Truthfully not sure why this blog was laid on my heart to share but what I know is this...we all as humans, elderly or not go through our day without being touched, hugged, someone to hold our hand, or just be on the other end of the phone and listen. You NEVER know what a impact you have on that person old or young or in my case the impact and lesson that Cecil and Cecelia have had and taught me. To sit still and listen...or in there case to talk to them but listen through there eyes...to just be there. To love others the way that Jesus loves us..no matter how we smell, what we look like or what WE as humans think are acceptable....just love others as Christ loves us...
Until next time....
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I love to pray with and for people but it has not always been that way for fear of not doing it right etc. Sometimes though we talk the talk and never walk the walk. Basically I mean that we are so quick to say I will pray for you but then as you carry on the convo etc we tend to let that thought slip right out of our head. How sad it that....we get so busy in this world with everything anyways but we tell someone we will do that and we don't. That is one area as christian we can NOT fall short in. Sometimes people are in a place where their faith is being tested, they are questioning God, or are in a place where they can't even pray they are so broken. Do you realize what that means...you might be there intercessor to God for that time being....what I mean is that you many be that only person that prays on there behalf. For some reason they chose you, what a honor but how are we honoring them by not praying or praying half way. How a simple prayer could change their life as well as our own by obeying.
What if, just what if in the very middle of the convo they said hey can you pray for me....and well at that very time no matter where you are you say lets go to prayer now. Or when they ask us that we actually write it down to pray fervently over that paper etc. I had a dear friend Kelly, that we were stationed with...we have since reconnected but we had so many memories but one that sticks out that I loved about her is one day she was out walking her new baby and she carried a small piece of paper that had names on it...as she walked around the block she would pray for the people on the list...seriously to this day I can still remember it as plain as day. I knew at that very moment when I would ask her to pray for me she would...it was very comforting to know that I would make "the list" and I was so thankful for her. She prayed on my behalf when I was in a place not feeling worthy of prayer. What would that look like and how could that change that persons life, requests, and thoughts.
Well here is my opinion
A. I think that would look like this to this person...Hey I want you to know that I hear you, that I am listening, that I care about you.
B. Taking that very request at that very time to God may be the very exact timing that God has for this person. You could change the outcome for praying on there behalf in a time that they did not feel like they could, or wanted someone to pray in agreement with them.
C. The thoughts of that very person could be all over the spectrum...but I seem to think to have someone willing to stop everything and pray for their very need at that moment in life. Especially if they are broken and need someone to just listen and step up and in for them. How comforting to know that someone....just someone cares enough to do that for them not worrying what the world around them thinks as they are praying in the middle of the store etc.
Some people struggle with praying. They feel I can't do that right, I don't know what to say or even how to say it. The simple truth is God knows our hearts but He needs to hear our desires of our hearts. Imagine the volumes it speaks to someone or the volumes to God. Imagine when that person comes back to you and says remember when you prayed for me....XYZ happened.....what a true blessing that comes back to you for obeying and wow God gets the glory.
Proverbs 15:8 Tells us this..The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
Romans 10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart's desire and prayers to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
Those are just a couple of scriptures out of many about prayer but I love them. What if at that very time someone asks can you pray for me you pray with them and that becomes there very day of salvation...the day that the ask Jesus to come into their heart or they rededicate there life again....How about the one day we will have to look God in the face and he says what about that time XYZ asked for prayer and you agreed to pray for them but you never did. I don't know about you but I have so many things I have to answer to and I don't want that to be one..
So just my thought on what hit me this weekend. If that means you carry a small journal to write down that request to pray for them fully later then carry it, if that means take notes on your phone for later.... take them. People we can NOT afford to fall short in this area. We must be prayer warriors but serious ones...we need to fight for, on behalf of, or for ourselves with prayers...We need not to worry about what "others" think or "where" we are, we just need to care that we answer that calling when God tells us to rather we pray at that very time or later in private....but pray and pray fervently.
Until next time.....