Here’s another little article I recently found in Bits of Sonshine, a nursing home ministry newsletter that I saved. It was written by a pastor. Although a heart wrenching story, we can rejoice that the man referred to went to be with the Lord …
“Last Sunday I Cried
by Pastor Paul F. Johnson
Last Sunday I cried. The first time in a long time. Perhaps it was because hardly anyone stayed for the memorial service I was to conduct after the morning church service. After all, the man wasn’t famous, and he had spent his last 5 years in a Nursing Home – blind, bedfast, and helpless from a stroke.
Nobody visited him except me – his pastor – and his sister-in-law. She used to bring him ice cream and compassionately feed it to him. His wife was dead, and his stepdaughter had died screaming in a fiery automobile crash as onlookers stood by helpless.
Once he was a successful land developer and salesman and world traveler, but the last years of his life he lay helpless and blind and poor. And a poor man soon runs out of friends, especially when he can’t do any favors.
Maybe I cried because I wanted an audience for his story. I wanted to tell them how his faith never wavered, how his mind was keen, and how hard it was to stand by his bed with no answers. How we prayed together, and his response was always positive.
We often equate faith with great deeds and incredible results in the face of overwhelming odds. But I’ll take the faith that is tested day after day after day with nothing to show for it but a firm belief in the ultimate goodness of God.
I’m glad I cried because I haven’t cried for a long time. The heart is like the earth. It needs loosening up periodically because it can get so calloused and insensitive. Crying breaks up the hardness and selfishness and makes it possible for love to trickle down into one’s innermost being – like a good rain makes the earth fertile after a long drought.
Perhaps in that moment I was subconsciously crying for the homeless and abused and unfairly treated and those who die without hope and without a Savior and without any future.
I was embarrassed to cry in front of the half-dozen people at the funeral. I shouldn’t have been, for long ago a man cried when He thought of me. And because He did, someday we’ll all laugh together, me, my friend who was forgotten and my other Friend who died alone.
Have you cried lately?”