Lent: Day Eleven

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
- Romans 12:10

A hero of mine died this past month. He wasn’t anyone famous. What made Jim a hero to me was that you could see Christ in his actions, hear Christ in his voice, and see Christ’s love in his eyes. He experienced God’s love deeply and felt it was his calling to share this love. He grew old with more dignity and continued service to others than I have ever witnessed.

I had heard about Jim or known Jim in different capacities throughout the years. He was a Joice classmate of Maynie’s, (my mother-in-law), he was the servant-hearted administrator at the nursing home where Robert’s grandma had lived. He was a loving grandpa to former students, and he lived at Mills Harbor, and then the Care Center where Maynie, also, had lived.

My sister-in-law is mentally challenged. She loved Jim! He treated her with such kindness and respect. When Jim lived at Mills Harbor, he would invite Maynie and Lori over to watch movies and eat popcorn; he had the gift of hospitality! 

When my mother-in-law began to suffer from dementia, Jim continued to make time for her. He liked to make sure she had the current devotional from church. He continued to love on her and Lori.

My husband, Robert, and I had an open Saturday afternoon before Christmas, so we decided to go see Jim, more out of a sense of obligation than anything; we hadn’t been to the Care Center since Maynie had died. We began our visit with a sing-along in the dining room where they were celebrating December birthdays, Jim’s month. We then headed back to Jim’s room to help him open some of the Advent gifts he had received from his grandchildren’s church. He asked if we would read his devotional with him and look up the Bible verses. He prayed for us! We thought we would be serving Jim, once again, he served us. That afternoon holds one of the best Christmas memories I have of this past year as we truly felt Christ’s presence in Jim’s room with us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, during this Lenten season, help us to show God’s great love to others as Jim did. Help us to honor his memory with acts of service and kindness. Help us to remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus dying for our sins.