February 11th 2010

I Was Sick And You Visited Me

“I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”

Matthew 25:36 (NKJV) 

It’s been a long time now that my wife has been in hospital and I have been at her side there. It has been an education on the point of visiting. 

The hospital ward can be hectic or it can be quiet, but in the main it is absolutely boring. Patients arrive in a distressed state but after a few days are generally able to notice what is going on, and they especially notice visitors. I watched as families poured through the door at visiting times, some patients had whole families to the nth generation come to them daily, while others were blessed with the faithful spouse or son/daughter. And for some—the lonely ones—there was no visitor, for whatever reason. 

I should mention that the patients here are all well on through life, as this ward is the Stroke Ward, so for most there were several generations available to visit. For one lady, her son flew in from abroad to visit, to stay and organise every need—only going home to his family when his mother was safely home from hospital. 

Loved ones can be dedicated visitors. I watched as visiting times approached. The air of excitement and anticipation became intense. It meant a lot to them all. But for the ones without a visitor to come, it was just so depressing. It became clear that the visiting is a major part of the recovery process. For some it could be the difference between life and death. 

Visiting hours in hospital has brought to me a new understanding of the scripture in Matthew 25:34-36, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’” And in Verses 45 and 46, “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 Prayer

Loving Father, help us to consider the sick, to take the time and make the effort to visit them, out of a heart of love and compassion.

Amen 

Study by Eric Wood

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