I am working on a project for an elderly care / nursing home. There is some renovation, as well as an addition we are building. That’s not what I want to talk about, though.

Every so often, I get to be in the area where the residents of this elder care home are milling about. Whenever I see one of the residents, I can’t help but smile at them, and say hi. The smile feels so genuine and warm, and I truly feel released when I get to see them.

The trouble is, the smile, and the hello is all I get to give them. I am working when I see them, and it would not be proper to do what I long to do. I want to continue that smile, and that hello, and walk to them, and talk with them. I want to get to know them, and hear the stories of their lives. Somehow, I am feeling like I never will.

I love children, and teens, people my age, and elders. But I have an especial heart for the ancient. I see them, and I want to hug them. I want to tell them I care, and “can I do anything for you?” I want to visit with them, and give them something they don’t get often, a simple visitor whose every attention is on them.

Will you pray for me, that I will get to do this? I know it seems selfish, because I like them so much. But the looks on their faces when I smile, and the smile they give back is worth the world to me. There is not much hope in elder care homes. Can I share at least some of my hope with them? Even if it’s not in word. How wonderful it would be just to sit with them.

I remember my grandfather from my mom’s side. I loved him so dearly. He took walks with me, told me stories, he even let me puff his pipe. The smell of that pipe I remember as if he has just lit it up in my office as I type this.

I recall studying his hands. He was a farmer, and his hands were course, and full of popping veins. I would push those veins in, and they would sponge back. As a child, my grandfather was the only relative I had on whose knee I would sit. No one else could hold me, but he could. I don’t know why.

Maybe it was the gentle, yet firm way he held me, leaving me free to go when I wanted, but safe from falling too far, lest I hurt myself. Maybe it was his quiet way, that we could spend hours walking on the old farm while hardly saying a word. I learned to think from him. He was not what people would have assumed was an intelligent man, but as I look back now, he was a genius, because he was wise. You can have intelligence, give me wisdom any day, for the intelligence I have is useless without someone around to impress with it. But wisdom doesn’t need an ear, or an audience. I like wisdom best.

I miss my grandfather from time to time, and I think of him every so often in memories that seem to be fading. Maybe these ancients remind me of him, as he was ancient when I was a child. Whatever it is, a tear of joy falls now as I remember him, and wonder when I’ll get to visit the residents of the elder care home again.


BruceD said...

That's beautiful, Tom. Brought a tear to this old grandpa's eyes. But, more importantly, it makes me want to be a better grandpa.

Thanks bro

Tom Reindl said...

Bruce, I can't imagine you not being a wonderful grandpa. You are definitely grandpa material, kind, wise, gentle , and deep. Take care, bro.

Messy Christian said...

Tom, You care for people so much ... no, I don't think it'll be a selfish prayer. Will be praying for ya ...

Beloved said...

Tom I offer this to the Father on your behalf...
++Loving Father, I come to You on behalf of my brother in Christ... I want to thank you for the love that Tom has surfacing in his heart, he's so eager to spill it over, and Lord, I know this love he holds and wants to share is a result of the love You have first loved him with. Father, I pray that You would arrange divine appointments in which Tom can let the love within him spill over into the hearts that are lonely and desperate for that feeling, that caring, and that connection, all which flows freely from You. Use him, as an extension of Your heart, use him, to speak with the leading of Your Holy Spirit, the words of life, words annointed by Your love, use him, to share what You want shared with not only the aging, who will soon join You, but also use him to enliven Your heart and love to other appointments that You create. Lord, use this for not only their hearts, but also for bringing more fullness into Tom's. Bring him a deeper understanding and connection with You through using him in this way. I pray in Your awesome Son's name, Lord, that You top off the Holy Spirit in Tom today and the days to come, to walk in the Spirit and live out what You have placed on his heart, the desire to get to know and learn from these ancients who are in his presence at this time. Father, I am excited about Your will for Tom, and Your heart for those he is hungering and thristing to draw into a relationship with. Appoint that Lord, for us to all learn from, for us to witness, and for us to be encouraged to also step out to share what is within us. I ask and pray, and thank You Lord for all of this, I ask You to bless Tom and this timing of yearning within his heart. I pray he seeks You over this, and listens to Your promptings and encouragements to walk in this. Thank You Lord... In Jesus' name I pray, amen...++

Tom Reindl said...

MC, Thanks for praying. I FEEL prayed for. :)

Monica, what can I say but thanks? I liked you prayer far better than my post, by the way. I found myself thinking about those ancients more and more today, too. Thank you.