Friday, December 25, 2009

Alone, Yet Not Alone

The other day, I went caroling at a nursing home along with some others that go to my church.  We wandered the halls, singing loudly and wishing the elderly a merry Christmas. 

At one point, we arrived at a room that belonged to a married couple.  They said that they had been married for seventy-eight years!  Can you imagine?  I've got to say, if I ever get married and live to be that old, I would like to share a room in my nursing home with my husband instead of with some crazy old person I don't even know... 

As everyone left their room, ready to find another set of seniors to serenade, I stayed behind to wish this couple (that I greatly admired) a merry Christmas. 

The woman, whose name was Elda Dean, smiled sadly.  "This is going to be a difficult year for us, but at least we're together, and the good Lord is going to see us through this hard time.  We know He will."  Her husband was listening and nodding with agreement.  It was obvious that the couple was unhappy about something, but I didn't know what.

"Well, would you like me to pray for you?" I offered hesitantly. 

Elda Dean's face lit up when I asked her this.  "If you could, I would like that very much," she replied eagerly. 

So I prayed.  It was a short prayer, but with every phrase I spoke, Elda Dean and her husband echoed my words with "Yes, Lord,"s, and "Amen, Hallelujah,"s. 

After the prayer, I stood up and wished them a merry Christmas once again.  Elda Dean looked at me with tears in her blue eyes, and she said, "This is the first Christmas we won't be able to spend with our family, and it's very hard.  We've got each other now, and that's all, but you've encouraged us both." 

Elda Dean's husband reached out from his bed to touch my hand, and he said, "We are Christians, and we believe in the Lord.  We believe that He will take care of us.  And miss, when you celebrate Christmas this year, please think about us and remember to pray." 

"I will," I promised, and left the room.  A bittersweet feeling flooded my chest.  It felt good to pray for someone and to know that I had encouraged a heavy heart or two, but it was also sad to know that even though I may have been encouraging, Elda Dean and her husband were still going to have a difficult Christmas without their family.

Today is Christmas Day, and I would like to remind you to be thankful for whatever family you're spending your Christmas with, for the nice home that you're staying at, for the wonderful Christmas food that you've been eating.  There are many people who are going without these things this year.  Always remember them.  They need your prayers.

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