Yesterday a large group of us gathered at a friend’s house to enjoy some burgers, drink diet Pepsi, and make fun of each other. Hey, that’s what we do when we’re not working.

 I called Mary Ruth to see if she was OK. She is in her 80’s, a widow, and lives alone. She has 24-hour health care professionals who stay with her. Her four children have all moved away – one in New York City, one in Tennessee, another in Pennsylvania, and the fourth in California.

Mary Ruth’s comment to me was, “Yeah, I’m OK – I’m just lonely. I wish I could go somewhere.”

I asked her if she wanted to come over to the cookout – no one would dare make fun of Mary Ruth and so maybe if I sat next to her they’d quit making fun of me too!

She was ready before I arrived. Ruby, her health care giver, came along as well. Mary Ruth said she hasn’t had that much fun since Bill died (her husband – Elder, God-fearer, lovely man).

As it was getting dark, my van now turned around, and Mary Ruth and Ruby were making their way back into the house, I wondered, “In our obsessive busy-ness, how can we make sure that our elderly saints don’t get forgotten?” It is a real challenge. They need fellowship as much as we do. Dropping by for a 20-minute visit once in a while is nice, but how do we keep them engaged in the life of Christ’s Body once they reach that stage of their lives?

Mary Ruth cannot “come to church.” Shouldn’t the church come to Mary Ruth?

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