The Hinkle Family was with us yesterday for morning services. During the Sunday School hour we met in the sanctuary to hear them sing; during worship service they not only sang but Pop Hinkle preached. Both services were outstanding, as they always are when the Hinkles visit.
Our church provides some support for their ministry – visiting nursing homes across the United States. They will be in this area for a couple of days, then are headed for Tennessee by Friday. Be sure to stop by their website and get acquainted with their ministry and their music.
How often do any of my readers visit a nursing home – unless we have family there? One gentleman in our church visits every single day to feed his wife. Because he loves her. How many are there without family members who can come any day to see them.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. [James 1:27 KJV]
Are these residents “in their affliction”? Do I write this because it is something I do? No. The last time I was in a nursing home was for my mother-in-law. Think of the joy I’ve missed, reflected in the faces of those lifted by such visits.
Something Pop Hinkle mentioned Sunday remains in my mind. Why pray for God’s presence when He has promised never to leave or forsake?
I’m certain I’m turning his phrase a bit when it runs through my mind – but I’m thinking that God has not forsaken His children who require full time physical care, but most of us have. He did promise to be with us always.
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. [Deuteronomy 4:31 KJV]
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. [Joshua 1:5 KJV]
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. [Matthew 28:20 KJV]
We have neglected our part of the covenant, our teaching things commanded unto those who need most to know. Such as my widowed mother-in-law. She required care due to dementia. Not Alzheimer’s, but just as surely, she did not know who we were, or where she was. At first our visits made her nervous, as any change in routine would do. As we stayed and talked, that lessened, though she never recognized any family member, having people with her appeared to comfort.
How hard it is to get through those first moments of the visit, when she was visibly nervous. Aren’t we just as nervous about the visit?
Thank God, daily if you would, for the Hinkle family bringing joy and comfort to residents each day. It is their God given ministry.