Lessons From the Nursing Home: Thomas the Praise Walker

by | Oct 11, 2016 | Devotional | 0 comments

Today is the first article in a series by Brother P. — mysterious pseudonym used on purpose. That’s because over the next few months he’s going to share stories from his workplace, a nursing home. So, he’ll use all sorts of aliases to protect the innocent, so to speak. We hope you enjoy reading about the spiritual insights and takeaways that Brother P. gets from this unlikely source.

Let me introduce myself. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. I also work in a nursing home. My job mostly is comprised of “walking” residents around the nursing home to help them regain their mobility. I feel honored that I get to spend my days with folks who have a decade — or two or four or more — on me. Since I spend a lot of time with certain residents, the physicians, nurses, or administrators occasionally ask me questions regarding the resident’s cognition.

Let me introduce Thomas. (I made up that name, but I’m talking about a real guy and my real interactions with him).

Thomas was a man I got to walk with a few years ago. He was African American, had white hair, stood about 5 feet tall, had a slender build — can you see him yet? He had a deep, raspy voice kind of like Louis Armstrong but five times more raspy — can you hear him yet?

When we would walk, he would take a step, move his walker, and say, “Thank you, Jesus” or “Praise the Lord” or “Hallelujah,” and he would walk very, very, veeeerrrrryyyyy slowly. But with each step he would exclaim some form of praise to the Lord.

Administration asked me one day if Thomas was confused or not…

Well, the man may have had some diagnosable cognition issues; he may have had trouble with memory as well as poor judgment causing safety issues, but one thing was certain. When it came to walking, Thomas was much more clear minded and had insight that most of us would (should) envy. He knew that it was Jesus who allowed him to take that step, and he was giving credit where credit was due.

Psalms 86:11 says, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”

Thank you, Jesus. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

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