Week after week she comes here, blue eyes aglow with a smile. From the minute this red haired, single mom of two arrives, the whole place comes alive. She could be anywhere else in the world but chooses this place, Rolling Hills, to reflect the Love of God.
“Why do you spend your Saturdays with us old folks?” Ezekiel mumbles, as she pushes him in his wheel chair to the recreation room. “It’s nothing” Amanda replies, “There’s no place I’d rather be.”
Amanda stations him near the window, and gets the teenagers that came with her this week set up to sing the worship songs they had practiced.
“I’ve got to try one more time,” she smiles, and they all knew what that meant. Amanda takes off down the hall and knocks gingerly on the half opened door to room 301. “Want to join us today Ms. Hunt?” she calls into the room.
“No, I don’t! Today or any other day! Now close the door so I don’t have to listen to that garbage!” comes a strong but shaky shout from the inside.
“Okay, I understand. I just want you to know your welcome if you ever change your mind.” Amanda, once again, with a smile and quiet blessing, rushes back down the hall to join the others.
The same exchange takes place many more times throughout the summer and into the fall, until the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Amanda’s church had prepared a special luncheon and she was resolved that this would be the day she would persuade Ms. Hunt to join them.
Room 301 was closed, Amanda knocked, but no one answered. The charge nurse passed, then turned and hesitated beside her. “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but Ms. Hunt has pneumonia and is in Central Hospital. I just checked her status. It’s serious, she is in ICU.”
“Amanda” the nurse continued. “She is strong as an ox, but she just doesn’t have the will to beat this. I’ve been working here a very long time, and I’ve not seen a lonelier woman. She has never had a visitor, not one, besides you knocking on her door every week.”
Amanda nodded in understanding and thanked the nurse. She slipped inside room 301 and knelt beside Ms. Hunt’s bed to pray for a few minutes before returning to the gathering of singers at the luncheon.
Amanda stayed to clean up and then took the teenagers home in her mini-van. Then picked up her cell phone. “Mom,can you keep the kids over night? I need to visit one of the residents here who’s in the hospital, Mom, she doesn’t have anyone.” Her mother agreed, as Amanda knew she would, and within a few minutes she was at the front desk asking to visit Ms. Rose Hunt.
It was as bad as the charge nurse had said and Amanda was not allowed to go into Ms. Hunt’s room. She stayed outside the door on a small bench with her Bible in her lap reading scriptures quietly.
It was almost midnight when the hustle of the nurses coming and going out of ICU slowed somewhat, that Amanda started to sing. Not a song she had heard before but a new song, from her heart to the Lord, the giver of life and every good gift.
As she sang Amanda became louder and bolder, and Ms. Hunt sat up slightly with her eyes wide open. “Come in here girl,” she said weakly,but startling Amanda from her worship vigil.
"You don't know this dear. But, I've been listening to you every week. After you closed the door, I would come open it again & stand with my walker as long as I could."
"Every week I would say to myself,my father didn't love me, told me I was nothing. God doesn't love me, no one loves me."
"But tonight when you were singing, I opened my eyes, and standing behind you was a man in a white robe, full of light. He told me He loves me, He has always loved me, and I could be his child."
Ms. Hunt smiled and closed her eyes. "And I believe Him."
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