Practice Uplifting The Outcasts

January 5, 2013

Yesterday a good friend of mine met me at the nursing home, her guitar, hymnbook, and sheet music in hand. I had a wonderful time introducing her to all my friends there, both staff and residents. And what a blessing she was to the old people as we visited different rooms and sang for them. My friend began each “mini-concert” by singing a lovely Russian song which she first translated for us in English. It was very beautiful, and her voice was so sweet, her playing so soothing. I asked her if she’d sometime soon give a concert in the dining room so everyone could hear all of the songs at once. She said she would.

Again, I tell about this so as to encourage people to visit elderly people. It seems that in our generation, children are given attention, and that even poor children have programs and charities catering to them. Even the homeless and those in prison have received attention. But what about old people? Should they be discarded just because they are blind, can’t think quickly, repeat themselves, sometimes smell or have food on their clothes? Yes, there are group homes where the old and decrepit can go to rest until they die, but is rest all we’ll really want if or when we get sent off? Or would we like family, friends, or even anyone, to visit us often and let us know we’re still valuable and cherished by someone?

Some people get squeamish in a nursing home. Well, they need to get over it. We can do all things through Christ (Phil. 4:13), so we can ask for His help, enter the home, and focus our minds on the feelings of others, not ourselves. Such an outlook is quite needed for all our relationships, present and future, so slaying self-focus it’s a good practice to get into anyway.

If there’s not a nursing home nearby, then certainly there are other elderly all around. Maybe at church? Maybe down the street? Maybe our own relatives, even our own parents? The elderly need to start being honored more in our Western society. Many societies honor them much better than we do, but that should change. And where does change begin? Of course we know it begins with us.

So, this next week, may everyone look around. May they take notice of the feeble person in the grocery isle trying to heft a sack of potatoes into her cart. Let’s go over and help, and strike up a friendship if possible. Let’s drive slowly through town and see if there is any old person sitting on their porch swing and then give them a pretty gift we have ready in our car for just such a person, and then begin a friendship there too. In other words, whatever the opportunity, let’s take it. Let’s find ways to use our talents for uplifting any outcast, and find ways to practice showing honor, respect, concern, compassion, and love toward those whom most of the world has discarded.

with love,

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