Monday, March 22, 2010
Beautiful hands and feet...
I took my seat and was overtaken with the thought that I should say hello to these ladies. You know what I mean when God just taps you on the shoulder and won’t stop sweetly bugging you? :) Although I felt terribly insecure to interrupt their conversation I overcome my nerves and introduce myself. I asked them what nursing home they were with and how their day had been. As I am visiting with the aid I realize that the older woman in the wheelchair has just been sitting there and steadily looking straight ahead. Prompted by a precious voice of the Holy Spirit, I asked about volunteering. I asked if I could volunteer on my own and what was available for volunteers to do. As I asked my questions the aid turned to the woman and said, “Winifred is that something you would like to have? Someone come and visit you? What is something that would be nice for you to have done by a volunteer?”
In one darling moment this woman melted. She delicately turned her face towards mine and described the memory of a woman that would come and pour coffee for a group of the ladies at the Nursing Home, but she had passed away and no one had continued to come. Her eyes start to moisten and tears gently rolled down her well worn face. She had desired to correspond to family that had written her, but as she spoke she lifted up hands riddled, deformed and warped with arthritis. She couldn’t write back even if she wanted to. Our conversation lasted all of ten minutes, but it was an exchange that I will never forget. The tenderness that was welling up in my heart poured out in affection for this beloved woman and I reached over, hugged her and she squeezed me like we were long lost sisters. We exchanged information and I committed to come drink coffee, write letters and chat soon.
Well, this past week I had the privilege of going to visit some of the precious men and women in that nursing home. Can I just tell you that it blessed me 10 xs more than anybody else. I sat down and chatted with the activity director about what I could do and then after tossing several ideas around I just asked if I could visit with the residents. This is an amazing facility, but they have a lot of individuals they are serving and sometimes having the time to be intentional and just talk gets knocked to the bottom of the list. She said it was their biggest need. So, I jumped up and said “Let’s go chattin’!”
We walked down the hallways and as we went in and out of rooms she explained the various situations and how above their beds would be written their names, their interests, where they were born and what they liked to do. A few stood out as we meandered down the hallway. Two women sat in their rockers visiting and expressed how much they loved to garden, both reached out to grab my hand and tell me how nice it was to visit. A young man that couldn’t have been more than 20-25 lay in his bed incapable of rolling over or communicating, a result of an accident when he was younger, listened to the sounds coming from the TV of crowds cheering on the NCAA basketball tournament as we stepped into his room. We approached his bed and started talking with him and as we did a wry smile spread across his face. I couldn’t help but reach out and grab his crippled hand and comment on his beautiful smile. At that point a smile spread across his face that radiated the room. From there we walked past a room where a couple that had been married for 70+ years sat in their recliners asleep holding hands ~ that’s real folks…not just in the movie the Notebook…that was real and yes tears were falling from my face as we quietly walked past their room. ~ There were others that touch my heart in a real and lasting way, but I will leave you with this today…
”Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out;
yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the
hands with which He is to bless us now.”~TERESA OF AVILA
You are the beautiful hands and feet that Christ wants to use to touch the world. The world you are in at this very moment. Yes, there is an overwhelming amount of worthy ministries on this globe and your beauty in Christ is never expressed more perfectly than when you are engaged in global projects! But let me express something that has really held me back for several years….I could be tempted to get so discouraged by what I CAN’T do that I forget what I CAN do. Be involved in reaching the world for Christ, but start right where you are. Be beautiful by reaching out and giving someone a touch from the King. I love what my pastor says and have it written in the front of my Bible.
“How you live anywhere is how you will live everywhere!”
Live beautifully right where you are. Ask for more territory from God, but don’t forget to bloom right where you are planted. I was sharing this story with a precious mentor yesterday morning at church and she reminded me how sad would it be to only have your hand held, or your head raised, or your heart touched when it was time for your medication. There are incredible men and women that serve as doctors, nurses, directors and care-takers but no one person has the power to do it all. I really want to encourage you to live beautifully as you stretch out the hands and feet that you have been given to love those around you. And it’s pretty simple girls all most people want is to know that they are worth knowing…isn’t that what you and I want?
“And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things’” Romans 10:15