Chicken Soup for Hazel

Yesterday afternoon our small group from church had a small summer outing. We were hanging out on the screened in patio, just us three couples. It was your typical small talk: women in their huddle, men in theirs. Then one of the ladies, Sara, said “I have been reading to a 93 old woman named Hazel who lives in one of the area nursing homes.” I shot my head around and started probing. My favorite kinds of ministry are the behind the scenes, quiet ministry work. The few hours a week type of stuff done outside the church. And this is exactly what Sara was doing.

I found out that it had nothing to do with our church. She knows someone affiliated with this nursing home and one day said that she had a heart to read to someone, was there anyone at the home that would be a fit? Sara was introduced to Hazel. Hazel’s lone next of kin is her 88 year old sister. In short, Hazel is very much alone

Sara has been going up for awhile and reading a children’s bible to her. It sounded like she was about complete with the New Testament and so she was going to have to get some new reading material. Sara felt one of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books would be ideal.

I also learned that Sara has been taking her 14 year old daughter to the nursing home while she is home on summer break.

After a story about playing bingo and winning dimes and quarters for a prize, Sara wrapped up by telling us Hazel’s “Dream Day”. Instead of a trip to the beach, or a day in the mountains or some other event that would be a logistics nightmare, Hazel’s dream day would be a trip to the local department store to go shoe shopping. I had to wonder if there was more than simply needing shoes? Would a trip to this particular store stir up wonderful memories of years gone by? Was this store full of memories of years filled with exciting Christmas shopping or possibly a place where she once worked?

Sara’s story was the highlight of my day. No one knew about her serving the Lord in this manor. I know I look forward to hearing more stories from Sara about chicken soup, bingo, and shoe shopping


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