A couple weeks ago, at the prompting of a friend, I ventured down to our local Hospice House to meet one of the residents who had been struggling with some spiritual needs. I had become very familiar with Hospice a year ago when my mother was losing her battle with brain cancer and was more than happy to assist an organization that had helped me and my family so much during our time of need.
As I walked into what is an absolutely beautiful residence I was brought into the main room where I was to meet a woman who was nearly a century old and who had been living in Hospice Care since the beginning of the year. I’m not sure what I expected but what I got was a warm reception from a godly woman filled with joy, sharp as a tack, and ready to talk to me about Jesus. She had a sense of humor (she started by saying I needed to talk quick because she might not have long) and a state of holiness about her.
After some small talk and sharIng a bit about myself this woman of the faith went on to tell me that almost a year ago she had gone to the store, felt ill, and ended up in the hospital. After being treated for a bout of walking pneumonia she was moved to a nearby nursing home for recovery and when things turned for the worse she was moved into Hospice–never returning to her home an hour away.
Many people would have felt anger or bitterness finding themselves in this situation but not her. She had a sense of spiritual fervor about her as she shared with me how excited she was that after 97 years God was not done with her yet and that she thought her new purpose was to begin a prayer ministry in her new home at Hospice. Not only was she content to be where she was but she was happy. She told me her motto was “If you can’t be home. Be here.”
After an hour and a half of swapping stories with my newfound friend we closed our time in prayer and I definitely felt blessed as she said Amen. Who would have thought that in going to Hospice to minister to others that I would be the one leaving blessed? But that’s how God is and how He works through those who love him. Even after 97 years and in the midst of being faced with her own mortality this dear old saint showed me how life is meant to be lived–with perspective and purpose. May we all follow her example.