John 13:34 (NIV)
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
The story is told by a nursing aid in a home for the elderly. She says one never seems to be amazed at anything. This cool September morning the minister’s wife and her daughter came to the home to visit the residents. The residents always looked forward to the minister’s wife visit but this was special, she was bringing her daughter.
Sitting in a corner of the living area was an elderly lady named Grace. Grace was so unhappy and it seemed that nothing could comfort her. Her families had brought her here over a year ago and have visited only once. Many families did that but some of the residents could deal with it while Grace could not.
Grace’s chin was on her chest and her white hair fell forward covering her face where silent tears rolled unto pale cheeks.
The young girl looked over at her and walked over to the darkened corner. She kneeled down and looked into moist blue eyes. A wide smile crossed her face as she said, “Hello, I am Beth, what is your name?”
Grace lifted her head and looked at the beautiful young girl who stood in front of her. She wiped the moisture from her cheek and whispered. “I am Grace, my dear; it is so nice to meet you.” A soft smile appeared on her face as she looked into the excited green eyes of the young lady standing before her.
Beth leaned over and gave Grace a big hug.
We all stood there with mouths wide open. Beth hugged Grace, and Grace hugged her back. In the whole year of her being in the home no one could ever remember her smiling let alone give a hug. Wow! The aids were amazed and even tears fell freely. That one act of kindness from a young girl who was only 8, made a big difference in another’s life.
Beth visited with her mother often and always went straight to Grace for her hug. They would visit and smile and laugh, they became such wonderful friends.
Over four years passed and Beth was always there for her visit with Grace. The one day she came Grace was not in her corner. She skipped down to her room thinking she was resting. The room was dark and empty.
The head nurse seen her and walked slowly towards her.
“Beth, I so wanted to catch you before you came and I did call but you had already left. Honey, Grace passed away late last night”
Beth looked at the nurse and said, “Oh my, Grace told me that she would soon be with her Lord. She has gone home to be with Jesus. She was so looking forward to that. Told me she would miss me but for me not to worry for she would be so very happy.”
A tear ran down Beth’s cheek, as she added, “I shall so miss her. I did so love her.”
The nurse watched Beth as she walked away. She wondered if that young lady had any idea of just how many lives she had touched with one hug.
Beth walked slowly; she was filled with so many emotions. Yes, she would so miss her Grace but she was so happy that Grace was home with Jesus.
Grace’s family made the arrangements for the funeral but Beth was not told where or when. This broke her heart. Still every week she would go to the nursing home and chat and hug the beautiful people there.
Years later, Beth was in charge of a large nursing home in the state of Ohio. She loved her work and she insisted that anyone working there would treat the residents with respect and dignity. Beth always told those who asked that she is working in the nursing home because of a wonderful precious lady named Grace. Grace had shown her how important all people are.
Will you take the time today to share a hug. Who knows what a difference it can make on the life of someone today.
Dear Lord, Help us to take the time to show your love today. Help us reach out and give a hug to one who needs it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.