Yesterday was not only Father’s Day, it was also Nursing Home Sunday for my Sunday school class. Each month a different church in our town takes turns going to the local nursing home and has a short devotion for the residents. June is the month that my church takes it turn. During the month, we split up the month with a different adult Sunday school class taking turns each week. Yesterday was the Sunday that had been assigned to my class.
Since this week was a holiday I had a small number of people in my class. Most of our members were either on vacation, visiting their own fathers, or working. In addition to my group being small, the children’s class that was supposed to accompany us to the nursing home was not going because they were having a Father’s Day breakfast for the children and their Dads.
Even though we were few in numbers we jumped in the car and headed to the nursing home to spend some time with the residents. When we arrived I decided that I did not have enough people with me to follow our normal routine of singing a few hymns and then having a short devotion. So I announced that we would just spend some time visiting with each other until we gathered a larger group.
As I sat and talked to one of the residents that we knew, I realized that I really should get up and spread some love and cheer to the others in the room. I didn’t know at the time that cheer was indeed going to be spread, but that it was to come from the residents themselves.
I wandered around the room and spoke to several of the residents before I finally chose to sit at a table with one of my students who was talking to two of the residents.
As I sat down, I spoke to both of the women at the table and then I turned my attention to the woman sitting on my right. As I sat there I looked at her and asked, “How are you doing this morning?” I don’t think I will ever forget the conversation that ensued.
This wonderful woman threw her hands up in the air and said, “I’m wonderful.” Smiling back at me she then asked, “How are you?”
I suppose that my response was not enthusiastic enough because when I replied that I was fine, she became concerned.
“Why aren’t you wonderful?” she asked.
I replied that I was good, but probably just a little bit tired. After she explained to me that what I needed was to get some rest and then I would be feeling wonderful, I decided to ask her, “Why are you so wonderful today?”
It was then that I heard the words, softly at first, but getting louder with every note. She was singing.
Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. …
I immediately started softly singing right along with her. As we sang together, the others at the table joined in and it didn’t take long before others were singing along as well.
This elderly woman, relegated to spend the rest of her life in the nursing home and confined to a wheel chair was WONDERFUL! And it is all because that she knew that Jesus loved her.
Wow! I went to the nursing home hoping to shine a little light in the lives of the residents there. Little did I know that one little lady would brighten my day in such a huge way.
Re-energized by this blessing and with backup arriving in the form of another of the adult classes from our church coming in to help out our small group, we continued with the traditional singing of hymns and my devotion that I had prepared.
These devotions are usually met with blank faces just staring back at me as I talk but this Sunday was different. This Sunday the spirits of the entire group of residents were lifted by a little song from one of their own and they were involved with the message. Asking questions, laughing, speaking to those from our church scattered among them. These residents made this devotion, one of the most meaningful devotions that I have ever delivered at this nursing home over the past 15 years.
Because I know that Jesus loves me, I too am Wonderful! That is a lesson that I will never forget. A lesson that was taught to me that Sunday morning as I sat at the table and heard this elderly lady start singing. A lesson that was shared by all as we joined in the simple song that says so much about why we truly are wonderful. We are wonderful because we are created in His image. We are wonderful because of the gift of grace that God has given us. And we are wonderful because Jesus loves me. And He loves you too.
I am looking forward to our next Nursing Home Sunday.
Are you wonderful today?