After six weeks in the hospital, it was a challenge to my hope when my loved one was dismissed to a nursing home under hospice care. Only those who have had to commit a loved one to a nursing home can fully understand my grief.
In order to spend as much time with him as possible and to try to alleviate any suffering he might be enduring, I went almost every morning to feed him breakfast. After breakfast the Home would have a devotional and worship service and I sat with him and held his hand during this service. I often left the home blinded with tears.
But soon after he was committed to the home, a large black lady was seated at his table. That morning I started hearing a soft, sweet, melodious voice singing an old hymn. It just created a tangible peace in the atmosphere. She was singing. Although she was a little hard of hearing, we became fast friends. We would sing together, and with her, it was always a worship service and the tangible presence of the Lord was with us. Although my heart was sore with grief, this time was like a healing balm for my soul. We called her “Sister Pat.”
I soon learned that she did not just while away her time there in self-pity or complaining, but she always asked that her wheelchair be situated where she could look out through the big glass double doors and there she sat, singing, praying and worshipping, — and sleeping some too.
Her Life and Ministry
During those months she told me about her life and ministry. She had lived in Alabama and had a family. She said her regular place of worship was down by the river. She would preach wherever she could. She said that one time she was preaching and a swarm of bees entered the room through a knothole. They settled at the back of the room. Did she evacuate the room? No! She went back there and commanded those bees to leave just like they came. They immediately left through the same knothole that they came in through.
She told me about another time when she was preaching in her yard with a congregation of her neighbors. A neighborhood dog came and was barking and disturbing the service. She commanded it to shut up and it rolled over and died! Another time in her yard a goat came through and went into her house. She went in and commanded the goat to leave and it fell down dead. Another time she was preaching in her yard and a child came to the front of the congregation and was acting in such a way as to distract the attention of the people. She told them that whoever the child belonged to had better get it. The parents immediately got the child.
She had also had a big tent and held revivals where many were saved, healed and delivered. Then she went on the air on a radio station and ministered there for many, many years. She gave me the address of the station and the ministry she had served and she still sent them a small offering each month. I contacted them and found that her story was all true. She still wanted to get back to her big tent ministry. We started holding Sunday morning services there in the home and several of the residents attended. She told me that we might have to set up the big tent again.
A Precious Memory
When the time came that we had to move our loved one to another home, we passed her hall where she was sitting in her wheelchair. She waved and I waved back. I never saw her again, but the memory of her ministry to me in a time of my great need will never be forgotten. If I ever met a saint in my life, she was definitely one of them.