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Friday, January 16, 2009

The Least of These

On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily...
You have said, 'No one sees me';
Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you;
And you have said in your heart,
'I am, and there is no one else besides me.'
Therefore evil shall come upon you ...
And trouble shall fall upon you;
You will not be able to put it off.
Isaiah 47:6,10-11 (NKJV)

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

"Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' " ~ Matthew 25:44-45 (NKJV)

In the movie The Boys Next Door, a speech about the need to assist the mentally handicapped includes a remark to the effect of, "Civilizations are judged by how they treat their weakest members."

I am grateful for nursing homes which provide care to the elderly on a level their loved ones cannot. Nonetheless, nursing homes should always be a supplement to and not substitute for the nurture of family.

I once heard a man decline to visit his grandmother with the words, "I don't do nursing homes." What is the benefit of avoiding the place where one may someday live?

Wherever our aged may live, they yet have much to offer us. If nothing else, they provide the opportunity to minister to Jesus through "the least of these."

Father, thank You for long life as You grant it. Thank You for the opportunity to learn from those who have gone before us. Please comfort those who have lost or will soon lose a beloved relative of years. Please show us how to demonstrate our love for those You leave us.

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy


  1. Anne,

    Thank you as always for your thoughtful reflections. So much doom and gloom persists among news of yougsters and their treatment of senior citizens. I'm very pleased that our schools are involved in "Academic Service-Learning". As part of various projects, our elementary students invite seniors to school to play board games with children, be interviewed about their youth, etc. The seniors delight in it and it's a joy to watch the interaction between the children and the elderly.

    Another point of hope: children's interaction with disabled peers. When I was in school, special needs children were put in separate rooms, never to mingle with other children. That fostered fear and great misunderstanding. Now special needs children are "integrated" into classrooms. Additionally, a program called "peer pals" links special needs children to children in standard classrooms for lunch and recess--social times. Children must be put on a long waiting list to "peer pal" a special needs child. They look forward to their turn to push the wheelchair or turn pages of a book for a child who can't do it alone.

    Sorry to comment so long. Just wanted to spin some hope into the internet. :) Thank you for this great reminder of godly ways to care for those in need. Though we have far to go, points of hope persist in our society--at least among our youngest members. :)

  2. Amen, this is so very true. It was such an honor to take care of my dear Momma her last days.

  3. Gwen, please don't apologize for the length of comment. I'm delighted to hear of the contacts you speak of.

    I don't know that I've ever seen faces light up the way seniors in a nursing home respond when a group of children walk in, then stop and talk to them. It is such a blessing for both generations!

  4. The caricature of the Biblical prophets is of wild-eyed old men screaming about the end of the world.

    The reality is that these men -- Isaiah, Elijah, etc., cared very deeply about those weakest members of society -- the old, the poor, the orphan -- and their harshest rebukes were specifically to the people who neglected or abused them.


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