Our church is starting a group that will visit nursing homes and places like that on a regular basis, and they want me to be part of it. But privately I wonder if it's really worth all the time and energy. After all, most of these people have their own families, don't they?


Some of the loneliest people I’ve ever met have been in nursing homes, and I’ve almost never visited a nursing home without having some of the staff urge me to see some residents who never have a visitor.

Sadly, some of them (the staff whisper to me) do have family – but the family almost never comes to visit. Perhaps the person has dementia, and the family has decided they won’t remember whether or not they were there, so they’ll not bother to go. But frankly, I find this a poor excuse. How else will they know if their mother or father or other relative is being cared for, unless they stop by regularly? And many older people have far more mental and emotional ability (and needs) than we give them credit for having.

Pray about being part of this group, and if you do join it, ask God to help you be a blessing to those you visit. See it as an opportunity – an opportunity to bring the love of Christ into the lives of others who need Him.

Someday you may find yourself where they are – and if so, wouldn’t you look forward to seeing a new face or hearing a singing group? Remember Jesus’ words (which we often call the Golden Rule): “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).