“Forasmuch as you have done it to the least of these
my brethren you have done it to me.”
The scene I am about to describe has happened to me many times over my 46 years of ministry.
A long time ago I went to a local hospital to see an elderly Christian man. He had a fine life of wonderful service for Jesus. We had many visits over the years of our friendship. So we knew each other very well and enjoyed each others company immensely.
The sad reality of our relationship in the latter years was that my dear friend had lost some connection with reality. He saw people who were not there, and his thoughts often rambled back 60-70 years to things that did not connect with the conversation.
I would listen for 35-40 minutes to his disconnected comments, smiling at him, and letting him know I was hearing what he said. On one visit the thought occurred to me that nothing productive was happening. Then I remembered our verse for today.
This wonderful man was not only made in the image of God, but was certainly a child of God. So if I visited him, I was really visiting Jesus. Therefore I sought to show much kindness to him and I made brief comments about the Lord he loved so much.
Occasionally he would respond with an affirmation of the beauty of Christ. If I started the verse of a hymn he would easily respond with the rest of the verse. So buried in the recesses of his mind were spiritual truths to be accessed by a short comment.
My encouragement about that man is that now that he is in heaven, his mind is perfectly clear and his faith has given way to sight.
Often, when dealing with a Christian whose life is almost over, and whose mind is weakened by the ravages of disease, I have discovered that I could still have them remember the truths of the Bible by reciting part of a verse or quoting a couple of lines of a beloved hymn.
Perhaps your loved one does not recognize you anymore. They may be unaware of the world around them. Never stop telling them the old, old story of Jesus and His love. Quote a familiar passage of Scripture like Psalm 23 or John 3:16. Assure them over and over of the abiding love of Jesus, the Good Shepherd for His sheep.
Give that elderly child of God all the love and respect you can. Keep your comments simple, brief, and full of Scripture and lines from hymns. These people are soon going to know so much more of Jesus than any of us here. They shall soon gaze on the glories of Christ and be filled with delight and praise. Let us do all we can to keep their minds fixed on Jesus here and now.
Your time is never wasted in visiting one of these individuals on the sidelines of life. You visit Jesus when you visit them. Your own family or your church family include some of these precious people. Why not go and visit Jesus today?