A Change of Heart

Mr. J wasn’t a regular attendee of our Sunday services we hold at a local nursing home.  I first heard about him from my wife, Ulia, who met him in the lobby of the nursing home one Sunday – he yelled at her for something she didn’t do, but she apologized anyway and promised she wouldn’t let that happen again.  One Sunday, he did attend our service, but intentionally sang hymns during our praise time so loudly and obnoxiously that no one could enjoy the praise.  We felt pretty daunted by his presence, and some of us decided to pray for him.  A few months have passed, and amazingly he has had a change of heart.  He now welcomes us when he sees our group enter the nursing home on Sundays, and with a smile points “Stage left!” to direct us to the dining room where we hold our services.  And when I don’t see him welcoming us on Sunday morning, I inevitably see him wheeling down the hallway just a few minutes before 10:30am to make it right on time for our service.  He is now regularly attending our services, sings along with the hymns, and even answers when the speaker asks questions of the audience during service.  When we didn’t hold service at the nursing home on a recent Sunday due to a church-wide retreat, the following Sunday he commented, “I’m glad you guys are back.  We didn’t know what to do with ourselves last Sunday!”  It’s been encouraging to see his change of heart and to see his welcoming face every Sunday, and we’re looking forward to getting to know him more.