A Glimpse of Glory in the Nursing Home

A woman with a walker shuffled toward us in the hallway of the care center. As she turned into her room, she stepped out of her shoe. She hobbled forward, appearing to be confused about what was wrong and what to do about it.  My daughter turned around and approached the woman’s doorway. Speaking softly, she picked up the shoe and knelt down. Then she gently and carefully slid the woman’s foot back into her shoe and wished her a good day. 

My heart overflowed with thankfulness for this daughter God has given me. She attended to the needs of a vulnerable stranger, when she could have easily continued on her way. It was a small gesture, yet the encounter stayed with me for the rest of the day and several days afterward. 

 Why?

Because it was a sacred moment. In her tenderness, I saw the imprint of our Savior in my daughter’s actions. Jesus’ heart and ways shone through this brief interaction.

On more than one occasion, Jesus taught his followers to care for the needy and hurting. In the parable of the Good Samaritan he described a scene where a man willingly interrupted his own travels to come to the aid of an injured fellow traveler.

 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds.” Luke 10:33 (NIV) 

Jesus not only taught his followers to love radically, he modeled it. He lived his earthly life as a servant, and gave up that life to offer humanity reconciliation with God. 

So complete was his selfless love, that on the very night before he was arrested, tried, and crucified, he knelt down to serve his followers.

“he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:4-5 (NIV)

When my daughter cared for an elderly woman she did not know, I heard the echo of Jesus’ words about the Good Samaritan, and saw the emulation of his actions on the night of the Last Supper.

I will carry that precious memory for a lifetime.  

But I can take away more than a memory. I can take action. Opportunities to love lavishly like Jesus did are presented to each of us on a daily basis.

  

Rather than give our attention only to those the world considers important, we can welcome people into our presence who others view as inconsequential, the way Jesus welcomed the little children.

 When someone treats us unfairly and hurts us deeply, we can ask our Father to forgive them, like Jesus did on the cross.

If friends let us down when we need them most, we can extend a second chance to them as Jesus did for Peter after his resurrection.

  

The day my daughter slowed down to help an older woman, she did more than place a shoe on a foot. 

She imitated Jesus.

When we love people in humble ways, we point others to him, becoming living illustrations of the gospel. With a simple act of kindness like stopping to help a person rather than passing by, we create a window of possibility for them to see that there is a God who loves them.

I know this, but sometimes I need to be reminded. Maybe you needed a reminder too. Offering God’s love to those around us brings a small taste of glory to otherwise ordinary days.

How will your actions bring God glory today?