Last week, I wrote a story about a book I’d read that impacted me. After I finished writing it, I went to visit a friend in our local nursing home. Joyce is an amazing woman of God. Her story goes like this: As she sat up in bed one night in her home, she felt something odd in her hip and immediately realized it had broken. Without a phone nearby, she crawled out of bed and pulled herself toward her stairway. The only phone was downstairs. Since she lived alone, she knew she needed to get to it to call for help. It took her eleven hours to reach the phone.
Once she was in the hospital, her hip was operated on and several rods had to be implanted to hold it together as her bones were quite brittle. One evening, while in the hospital restroom, she had a stroke and fell. Several more bones were broken in that fall and now she also faced recuperating from a stroke as well. The CAT scan revealed several bleeds in her brain and she overheard the doctors say there was nothing they could do…she would soon die.
Surprised she was still alive the next morning, they took another CAT scan and found all of the bleeds had disappeared. They were stymied. Joyce, in her brokenness squeezed out the words, “Jesus healed me.” Her witness had begun.
Joyce has now been in a nursing home for three months but will soon be able to return to her own home. There is something very special about her that I will tell you about. I had gone to visit her to bring her some cheer but she ended up refreshing me. Joyce, from the beginning, felt the Lord call her to minister to the other patients. Instead of laying in her bed feeling sorry for herself, she has chosen to maneuver into a wheelchair and travel to any room the Lord directs her to when she senses someone is depressed. Joyce, with her own body falling apart, recovering from a stroke, learning how to talk again, has listened for God’s voice and chosen a life of ministry right there in the nursing home. She is undaunted by her own ailments and will go wherever the Lord directs. I am inspired by her faith. Jesus working through her has brought light and hope to many of the residents.
I figure if God can speak to Joyce in a nursing home and use her in quiet, yet dynamic ministry right there, surely he has plans and work for me and others who are healthy and capable. I am challenged again to listen for God’s voice and follow where He leads.