- Randy Weaks
Our next step might be a step back
SOUTH LYON – The writer of Ecclesiastes said that “there is nothing new under the sun.” He was right. The more that I see and hear about new things, the more I realize we’ve been this way before. With ministry, you always want to be fresh and have fresh ideas.
Last week, I was in my office talking to a man who comes in just about every day. I asked him if he would like to go with me to visit with a woman who is now in her 90’s. We left and drove just a short distance to her house and rang the doorbell. It took a minute or two before she was able to get to the door, but when she opened it up, her eyes lit up, and her hands and arms flew into the air. There was a smile from ear to ear.
She had just decorated her house for Christmas and couldn’t wait to show us her Christmas trinkets. All with stories behind them. We stayed for a while, ate cookies, talked, and prayed with her. Her smile was all I could think about that day when I got back to the office.
The next day, I decided to drive over to an assisted living place in Northville. One of the ladies from our church had just moved in the week before, and she was trying to adjust to her new way of life. As I made my way through the hallway, I finally found her room. I knocked on the door. It didn’t take her long to open it. She smiled and I asked, “how are you doing?” She was quick to say, “I’m bored to tears.”
She invited me in, and was glad to see me. Her place was a little bigger than my office at the church. Her bedroom, kitchen, and living room area were all the same room. A far cry from the two bedrooms, two floor place that she moved out of.
We visited for a little while and when we were done, she said that she would walk me down to the door, that it would give her an excuse to get out of the room.
My heart went out for both women, and my mind went back to the days when they were at church every service. Both of them were teaching Sunday School, rocking babies in the nursery, encouraging our young ladies. And now, life is a lot different, much quieter, much lonelier.
In our quest sometimes to become younger with our church attendance, we tend to forget those who, in days gone by, were a big part in many of our churches. They worked hard to build and clean, many sacrificed money and time to reach out to those in need. Some were probably even the ones who shared the love of Jesus with you, and prayed with you to receive him into your heart and life.
If we are not careful, these people become the forgotten, and they aren’t thought of much until you get the call that they have passed, and then the memories of who they once were comes flooding back again.
One day, someone asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was? He said, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And the next,” he said, “is much like the first. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
There are folks out there who just need someone to say, “I thought I would stop by today to see how you are doing?” Let’s not forget to reach out to them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Randy Weaks is the Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church South Lyon.