Not The Usual Day

January 29, 1999
by Anne Russell

Hebrews 4:7 – Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. (NIV)

Yesterday my husband and I went into a large grocery store. We were picking up some things that we had forgotten when we did the big shop. Yes, we are retired and we are blessed in the fact that we can come to the sunny south for the winter season. After we had picked up what we thought we had gone to the store for, my husband seemed to have disappeared. (Sound familiar?) I looked around and recognized our shopping cart, but then was startled for a moment, because someone dressed in shorts was sprawled on the floor with a crowd surrounding. As I approached, somewhat fearfully, I saw my husband kneeling and questioning the elderly gentleman on the floor. He took his pulse and tried to assess his condition. The store attendants agreed with him that it would be right to call an ambulance and get this gentleman to medical aid. He had a bandage on his leg, which was blackened with a severe infection.

But Joe (not his real name) did not want to have anything to do with going to the hospital. He just wanted to be helped out to his car and drive home. But he didn't have the strength to stand, let alone walk to his car. How he got in his car and drove to the store was a mystery. While helping him out to his car, my husband persuaded him to let him drive him home in Joe's car and I would follow. Assisted by a young man from the store, all was achieved and Joe was home.

Joe gave my husband the phone number of a nursing service that was looking in on him. They were surprised that he was even driving. Older people don't always think much about doing things that they've done independently all their lives. His house was not a pleasant scene, with plastic jugs in plastic bags all over, like a garbage dump. I imagine it is the same all over North America, wherever the elderly live alone with no-one to care for them. Even when we took Joe into his home, people around couldn't have cared less. They looked the other way, not wanting to become involved. It bothers me so much to think that:

(1) People have to live like this.
(2) No-one really cared.
(3) God places us in situations like that and we don't know why.

Prayer: We pray for people like Joe, Lord. Every so often we become more aware of how others live. O God, never let us become too comfortable in the way we live. Don't hesitate to shake us up. We need it. Never let our hearts be hardened so that we cannot see the other side. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <annerussell80@gmail.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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