One of our Careworks Living Care Chaplains has shared with us some stories of the beauty of working in aged care chaplaincy.
“There are two stories I’d like to share about two different ladies I visit. Both are 84. It is always a privilege to visit people in their homes and be welcomed into their space.
The first is a single woman who is spiritually hungry. With 2 ex-husbands and 3 children, her life has been very difficult with much hardship. Her health and mobility is terrible causing a lot of misery and pain in her life. She sits alone in a chair at home day after day. Every visit she has questions for me and I take great delight in hashing them out with her. With time she has become increasingly spiritually alive.
I felt the Lord lead me to share communion with her. With a Catholic background, I first asked her permission if that would be ok. I didn’t want to offend her or go against her personal beliefs. She was very excited to do that and agreed wholeheartedly. I told her the communion table is open to all to remember what Jesus has done for them.
I read from Scripture as we broke a bread roll together and drank some blackcurrant juice out of her posh wine glasses. It was a very special time, bringing her to tears. She loves to be prayed for, feeling the presence of God at these times; often crying and not knowing why. Each visit she comments how peaceful she feels when I visit. She loves that she can talk to me about things she can’t talk to anyone else about. All glory to God as His presence comes to others through us.
The second woman was widowed in January this year after 61 years of marriage. Her 3 children live either overseas or very far away. Her grief and loneliness overwhelms her. She misses her husband so much. At each visit, she cries a lot and talks about her husband and how she feels. I listen and normalise her emotions. We talk and laugh and cry together. When her birthday came around, the first since her husband died, I took her out for lunch to celebrate her life.
Many times I have talked to her about a God who loves her, cares for her and is there for her if she cries out to Him – He understands her pain and can offer her His comfort. This woman has not felt any hope, and I wanted her to know about the God of hope. She always likes me to pray for her before I leave, and has assured me that she always listens to what I tell her and thinks about it between visits.
At my last visit, the first thing she said to me when I walked in the door was
“I can feel the presence of God with me a lot lately.”
With words from the Holy Spirit, I immediately shared the gospel with her and asked if she would like to give her life to Jesus. She said yes! We prayed together and within minutes, I watched her face become lighter and brighter – she looked 10 years younger.
She doesn’t feel alone any more. Hallelujah, all praise to Jesus!”