I've been asked to be part of a singing group from our church that visits nursing homes in our area. But to be honest, I wonder if it's worth all the trouble, since most of the residents don't seem to be very alert. Am I being unkind? — M.J.
Let me ask you a question: If you were a resident of one of these nursing homes, wouldn't you be glad to have someone come and sing to you? Of course you would. Don't ever forget Jesus' words: "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).
Recently, someone told me about visiting an elderly relative of theirs who had Alzheimer's disease. She could no longer carry on a conversation or recall the names of people who'd once been close to her; to all appearances that terrible disease had destroyed her memory. But then one of the family began singing a hymn -- and almost immediately, the woman looked up and began singing with her. In spite of her disease, the hymns she had learned many years before still remained in her memory.
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). Thank God for giving you this opportunity, and ask Him to use your group to bring encouragement and peace to the hearts of those you visit.
In addition, ask God to give you a deeper compassion for all those in need, and to help you see them through God's eyes. And as you have opportunity, share with them what Jesus Christ means to you. No matter who we are, Christ alone is our hope -- both for today and for eternity.