Working in a nursing home is different from leading BINGO. It's different from singing for a group of residents like I did in my youth. No, working in a nursing home means investing in people. It means sitting down with a woman whose brain is pulled in many directions and whose words don't form coherent thoughts. It means validating even the craziest of stories and bringing a smile to someone's face.
Serving as a chaplain in a nursing home means holding the hand of a resident who weeps. Even when they can't communicate the reason for their tears. It means leading a bible study with people who have read the Bible cover-to-cover, forwards and backwards and who have memorized more scripture than anyone else you'll ever meet.
Serving as chaplain in a nursing home means daily being humbled; it means witnessing the love of Christ in new and various ways; it means opening oneself up for profound change and intense relationship with people who may or may not have much time left on this side of the kingdom.
It means choosing to invest richly in the Kingdom of God and not in things of this world.
And it also results in an intense nap at the end of every shift.