From my nursing home days:
Death paid a visit today
He was sudden, pushed the man over
He didn't stay,
Still the presence stalks the hallway.
Death lingers in the air
They're old, they're sick.
They lay in their beds
or sit in a chair.
They hear Death comes in three
and wonder is the next one “me.”
Death stalks the hallway
Looking in the rooms
for the infirm, the lonely
The one wondering will it be “me.”
Some bodies can't move
in a diseased grip
Yet even paralyzed, they feel pain
Others give up, missing loved ones
who died before
Wives, sisters, brothers, friends
Sometimes parents call from the other end.
They dwell on what's it like to die.
They ask me- I don't know.
What's it like to die in your sleep?
I don't know.
Some say peaceful.
I hope, but I don't know.
Do you know Jesus?
Yes, I believe in God.
But do you know Jesus?
I must ask. I must.
I scuttle away.
I don't want Death today.
I want life.
I want them to want life.
To live until they die.
I look for bright faces.
As they sit in their chairs
or lie in their beds.
I don't want to see despair.
When Death lingers in the air.
They let him play with their heads
as they lie in their beds.
Am I scared of Death?
No, I get mad as he plays.
He goes away for a while.
But then he stays.
Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
I must remind them,
Jesus conquered the grave.
For your life He paid.
It's a threshold we step over.
Into their feeble ear,
I'll lean closely with words clear.
To reassure them; Life is best.
But in Jesus' love, trust and rest.
And that is why I'm in long term care.
God has left me there
To share a smile and a tear
and help some see this way clear.
I lost my path, I hated this path
with all its offenses.
They can be selfish, self-centered and
aggravating- worse than children
cause they have it no more to learn and retain.
They only know “me” as a refrain.
Yet sometimes love comes in a smile,
a hug, a thought for someone other than “me.”
They return to younger days,
before it was just “me.”
Help them. Help them to see,
the Jesus in me.
Jesus loves the little children.
You must be like a little child.
Give them back faith and sight to believe.
Jesus tells me to “Remind them of Me.”
“They may have heard of Me
in dusty old churches, or heavy incense,
rituals, recited prayers and beads.
Point them to Jesus, the Living,
Who takes away fear and loves them.”
Don't give up
don't focus on “me.”
Show them Jesus
living in “me.”
I'm tired now.
Let me sleep,
refresh me Jesus
to feed Your sheep.