But God had a plan because Miss R did not need fixing at all. Instead she made some much needed repairs to my soul. Many things about her children, husband and early life that she remembered with fondness and humor. But because of short-term memory loss she had forgotten that her husband had passed away a few years before. So when she was a little fretful about when he would "get back from his business trip" I would just assure her that I was sure she would see him again before long and after a few months she spoke of that anxiety less often. She taught me much about living fully in the present.
Of course, she did not remember me when I came, but after some weeks she recognized that I was someone she knew even if the name would not come to her lips. But a wonderful smile came to her eyes and a warm welcome to her lips. She had taught me that a home made name tag with just my first name in large print was a good idea when visiting anyone who was ill or confused.
I believe she got unusually good care in the nursing home because she was such a blessing to all the folks who worked with her. No matter how challenging their day was, it was very rare to enter Miss R's room and not get a smile, warm greeting and even a gentle joke. She blessed other folks who lived at the facility with that same generous spirit. That was my next lesson: even though she had such failings of body, her love of Jesus kept shining through in small acts of kindness all day everyday.
I asked early in our visits if we might pray together and she often had a tear or two in her eyes when we finished so I learned to get over any shyness about praying aloud with folks if they were willing. And those prayers often left tears in my eyes too as I came to love her very much.
Who can you learn from today?