One of the requirements of deacon formation is to participate in a social justice and charitable ministries. Since this past May, I have been volunteering at Hansford Manor. I play bingo with the residents, play games like Skip Bo, visit, and try and help where I’m needed. Helping at the manor is out of my comfort zone. It was like pulling teeth for Teague to get me to go with her when she wanted to visit someone, but this seemed to be where God was calling me to serve, and so… I went.
I’ve made some new friends and renewed some old acquaintances at the manor, and the blessing has been mine. A few weeks ago I was asked to be the bingo caller. The pressure was on. Bingo is taken mighty seriously at Hansford Manor. There is a quarter riding on every game. I like joking around with the residents, and they enjoy teasing me back. I started announcing each new round with the line, “Clear your cards. It’s time for another exciting round of Hansford Manor BINGO!” The first few times they all laughed. Now most everyone smiles and nods and puts up with my silliness.
Last night after Bingo, the sweetest lady rolled up to me in her wheelchair. She said that I reminded her of a young man that used to live with her and her husband when he was a boy. She said that she loved Jesse. I asked her where he was now, and she said that he was in Oregon. She missed him, but she took great pleasure in my laugh, my voice, and my looks because I reminded her of him. I thanked her, and she rolled off.
All I could think of was, “Wow!”
I wonder how many people Jesus blesses with our lives just because we show up?