“I think God sent me there”

“You will stand up in the presence of the aged,
you will show deference to the old
and you will fear your God.
I am Yahweh.” Leviticus 19:32

Once when I was sitting in the lobby of a nursing home waiting to meet with the director, I sat next to a resident who was in a wheelchair. Her name was Helen. The whole time I sat there, she kept repeating slight variants of this same point to me again and again between short pauses, “No one has time any more to sit for tea. Young people are just so busy these days. So busy.” It cut me to the heart. After I had my meeting, I walked back out into the lobby and she was still there. I went over to say goodbye to her, but this time she said, “Do you have time to have a tea with me?”

I felt terribly conflicted as I was hard pressed for time. What should I have done?

Go, and do likewise.

7 comments on ““I think God sent me there”

  1. Mark Howell says:

    Thanks Tom, That one gave me the “vapors”

  2. Jennifer says:

    Tom, this strikes me so hard, with profound gratitude that I have the priveleg of getting to experience this daily. So much of my chaplaincy work has transitioned to making time for tea, playing catch, singing, dancing, walking and walking and walking, holding hands, listening to the same story for the third or fifth or seventh time as though it were the first. And this is where I encounter HIM time and again, in this unexpected cathedral of sorts, in the tabernacle built of hospital walls, in our midst. This I know is true: God sent me there and graciously meets me there and heals me there time and again. Deo Gratias!

  3. amyansaturday says:

    l bet I know what you did!

  4. Theresa says:

    Who ends a news story with “Amen”?!
    This made me smile from ear to ear! Thanks for sharing.

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