At Landis Homes we begin many of our gatherings with a meditation and prayer. In this blog I share a meditation by resident Sue Thompson at the start of our March 14, 2016 Landis Homes Residents Council meeting. This group of about 50 residents meets ten times per year. I am grateful that Residents Council invites staff leadership to join them in these meetings which facilitate communication and shared commitment to our mission of honoring and enriching lives in a community of Christ-like love, guided by our values of joy, compassion, integrity, stewardship and community. — Larry Zook
Meditation for Resident’s Council
by Sue Thompson
In II Timothy, chapter four, the apostle Paul is writing from prison in Rome. He is expressing his feelings at this low and lonely period of his life, mentioning that two of his co-workers left to minister elsewhere and Demas deserted him because “he loved this world.”
Paul writes Timothy, “Do your best to come to me quickly,” and asks him to bring three things:
- Paul wanted his cloak that he had left behind as he needed it for his physical comfort.
- He asked for his scrolls, especially his parchments. Paul needed his books and writings for his spiritual and mental stimulation.
- In verse 11, he says, “get Mark and bring him with you because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” Paul needed the companionship of friends.
With all the blessings and trials that life gives, we also need the same three things. As I reflect back on our past two and a half years here, Landis Homes has provided for us the same needs in those three areas.
First, we not only have ample living quarters, but especially pleasant, clean apartments or cottages for our physical comfort , all enhanced with beautifully landscaped surroundings. At one of our town meetings, I met Mrs. Horst who had served as a missionary in Ethiopia. She remarked, “After being on the mission field, I never thought I’d have such a beautiful place to live.” That sums it all up!
Second, to stimulate our minds and strengthen our spiritual walk, we have a wealth of learning experiences in which to participate: worship services, concerts and recitals, Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning, authors and book reviews, art exhibits, games, activities, outings, wellness programs, beside several areas to serve and volunteer. The list can go on, but there is “something for everyone.”
Third, we need the fellowship of friends. Paul and I moved here from Michigan leaving the best neighbor in the world, our youngest daughter and family. That move was six weeks after major back surgery with rods and screws between three vertebrae. I was not to bend, lift, or twist sideways for six months. We moved into our cottage, and with my cane as a “pointer” my patient husband arranged or hung everything in its place.
With therapy completed we had a few months to enjoy this new life. Then my healthy husband faced some difficult medical challenges and went through open heart surgery, bladder cancer surgery and a minor stroke. To say that our first twenty months here were quite challenging is an understatement.
We knew no one at Landis Homes when we arrived, but we had the BEST neighbors. It was as if God hand-picked them for us. We needed their friendship, and it was given thoughtfully and freely.
In his loneliness the apostle Paul becomes reflective and says in verses 16a-17 “at my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength.” We had that same hope. The Lord’s comfort and promise where the source of our confidence and strength.
Paul ends II Timothy with a plea. In verse 21 he says, “Do your best to get here before winter.” The apostle knew that traveling by sea in wintertime could be dangerous and traveling by land would take too much time. His plea to Timothy – please come as soon as you can – come before it’s too late.
Verse 21 is simple, yet so profound. It is a constant reminder for all of us to BE, or to GO, or to DO before winter – before it is too late.