The Elderly Need Our Compassion


I work in a nursing home, and it really saddens me to see the way some of our patients never hear from their families or have anyone visit them. It's almost as if their families just wanted to get rid of them. Why are some people so thoughtless?


Over the years, I’ve visited countless nursing homes, and almost without exception the staff has asked me to stop and greet some of their residents who never had a visitor. I was always glad to do so, of course, but (like you) it also saddened me greatly. The Bible says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).

What is the problem? The problem isn’t just practical (such as living too far away or not having enough time). The basic problem is spiritual and moral, because we put ourselves before others, and before God. Never forget: Self-love is the greatest enemy of true love! The Bible warns of the time when “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive… without love” (2 Timothy 3:2-3).

Someone said to me once that the reason he never visited his mother in her nursing home was because she wouldn’t remember he’d been there. But even if that were true, he still would have brought her comfort for a few hours, and he also would have been able to check on her care. The Bible says, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).

Ask God to make you a blessing to those you serve—encouraging them, helping them, cheering them, loving them, praying for them. Remember Jesus’ words: “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).