On Saturday, we went to CB and OCC to deliver Christmas poinsettias to all the residents. I was so thankful for this time, because I got to meet so many residents that I have not had a chance to meet before. At CB, I met W and E. They are roommates, and W is an army veteran from World War II. He has 2 children that were born to him when he was stationed in Spain, but they remained in Spain after he came home, and he has very rarely seen them and does not talk with them anymore. He says he does not get any visitors as he has no family. I asked him if he believed in God, and he said “At this stage in life, of course”. I think he knows that he is near the end, and he is basically immobile, with tubes and a colostomy bag.
On Sunday, I went back to visit them after the service, and got to talk more with E. E said that he was not feeling good emotionally today as his best friend just died of liver cancer yesterday. He is an African American man and says he has no siblings or family, and so his best friend was like a brother to him. He said he called his friend on the phone yesterday, and his friend said that he would call him back since he was not feeling well, and he died right after he hung up the phone. E said that he had come out to church periodically through his life, but did not currently go now, so I invited him to our service. He opened up to me to readily about his friend, and I was struck by how lonely it must be for him, especially now as he has no one left. For W too, he is now near the end of his life, all alone in a nursing home with no way to contact his children. I took today’s Sunday worship message to heart—we may feel like foreigners in the world, aliens and strangers, but we are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:11-22). He offers to draw us all near no matter what has happened or what we have done, and welcome us as members of his own family. I prayed that W and E would come to understand this, and feel more urgent to share the gospel.