I wish you'd encourage churches to have some of their people visit nursing homes from time to time. I've been in one for two years now, and it's very lonely here. All my relatives live far away, and I almost never have any visitors. Thank you.


Thank you for your letter, and for reminding us not to forget those who are facing old age or illness by themselves. The Bible says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

Thank you also for urging that churches do more to encourage their members to visit nursing homes (and other places where people face hardship and loneliness). Some churches do this on a regular basis, but I’m sure much more could be done, and I hope many will take your suggestion to heart. Almost every time I visit someone in a nursing home the staff will ask me to visit others who are lonely, and to pray with them.

Let me, however, encourage you to be a light for Christ right where you are. Yes, you are lonely—but so are dozens of others around you. Visit them as you are able, and be a friend to them. In addition, ask God to help you point them to Christ if they don’t know Him. As you bless them, they also will bless you.

In addition, may this be a time when you grow closer to the greatest friend any of us can ever have—and that is Jesus Christ. He truly is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Have you opened your heart to Him?