Clipping Nails as a witness?

Years ago, I read an article by Beth Moore where she brushed a man’s hair at the airport. (Click her name and you can see her tell the story.)

That story was in my mind yesterday, when Mr. M talked to me as he left the sanctuary after church. He said, “Go see Mr. R, Jenny. He’s got a job for you to do.” So I left my conversation with a dear lady to see what was so important that Mr. R wanted me to do. I was compelled to go see Mr. R, and I can’t explain it… I just knew that I had to go, and now.

I saw something in Mr. R’s hands, glinting in the light, and I couldn’t tell just what it was… and then — oh I pray he didn’t register the look that must have been on my face — I saw that he held some over-sized fingernail clippers, maybe toenail clippers. I thought, “Please God, no,” as I walked toward him.

Deep breath, then smile returning, I inquired, “What do you need, Mr. R?” and he asked me humbly, with the gentlest spirit, “Will you please clip my fingernails? I can’t feel my fingertips and Mr. M (his friend and house-mate) isn’t able either.” So I took those clippers and I gently took his hand in mine, and I clipped his nails.

He was talking while I worked, and everyone cleared out of the entryway as I inadvertently sprinkled nail clippings all over. I know all eyes were on us… and if you know me very well, you know I LOATHE the sound of nails being clipped, especially in church. (Why does the sound seem to reverberate off the walls, anyway?) But I stood there with Jesus’ love enveloping  Mr. R and me, and my girls who swirled around the old gentleman and kept asking why I was clipping his nails. They also said, “Mama is gentle, and she won’t hurt you, Mr. R.” I nearly wept after that statement.

Mr. Wonderful never saw what happened, and I wept with gratitude of being asked to show such servant-love as I told him later yesterday afternoon. I am near tears again right now as I type out this post, because of just the blessedness of my whole life. Sure there have been times that didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. Sure there have been some very sour incidents, indeed. But I have a wonderful husband of 19 years, and two beautiful daughters (whom we never thought we’d get to have, and whose adoption will be finalized just before our 20th anniversary). Life is precious and sweet, but more than that, Jesus in my heart is what makes the living worthwhile.

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