Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Loving the Forgotten

For He will deliver the needy who cry out, 
the afflicted who have no one to help. Psalm 72:12

Excited! [total understatement]

I just had a wonderful meeting with the activities director at a local nursing and rehabilitation center. Have you ever considered the definition of the word "needy?" It means, "1. being in want [poverty], or 2. marked by want of affection, attention, or emotional support."

In mid-November, I was talking to God and asked Him these simple questions: "God, I know so many people feel forgotten...who are the forgotten in my neighborhood? Who needs to be reminded You care?" By the end of my prayer, I had the answer - residents in nursing homes in my area are the needy. They are too often the forgotten. 

So I started praying and researching homes for the elderly around my neighborhood. As I "knocked on doors" about the availability to volunteer and encourage seniors, one location opened up WIDE. 

Activity Director: "I'm so glad you called...you just don't know how much we need this! How soon can you come by?"

God's blessing and encouragement to me poured out as she talked and confirmed all that I felt God was placing on my heart. As the activity director, Ms. S. plans a lot of things but there are some room-bound patients that can't attend. She said they could really use a visitor..."just someone to paint their nails, or read them a book, or watch a movie with them, or sing a song (even off key she assured me was fine!), or talk, or listen, or smile." Any day of the week and any time I can spare...any.  

After work today I met Ms. S. and I found out that many of the residents are under the age of 55! I filled out a simple application for a quick background check and I am popping in this Saturday to start encouraging. A resident, Ms. R., spoke to me while Ms. S was away filing my paperwork and she said, "It's really needed, it's a big deal that you are willing to do this."  

As I looked at her face of urgency as a resident there, I could almost cry. All I did was ask God, He answered, opened doors, and I walked through them. Humbling. 

The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.

Needy by want of affection, attention, and emotional support. 
Captive with no other alternative but to live in a nursing facility. 

In light of today's experience, these verses takes on a whole new meaning. Amen, Lord. Please use me.

PS: If anyone in my neck of the woods would like to find out more info...just let me know and I'll hook you up. Maybe we could even go encourage together! :) 

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