No picnic!

I was speaking recently to an elderly woman.  She had just gone through a gruelling week.  She had been to the funeral of a good friend’s spouse, another friend had had a stroke and a third good friend was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack.  After describing these three tragedies in detail she paused for a moment and said grimly, “Growing old is no picnic.”

I remember visiting a nursing home when I was a teenager.  It felt surreal seeing so many people with such broken and aging bodies; it felt horrible.  I wondered, “Is that what I have to look forward to?”  I think that was one of the reasons that I decided as young adult to work in a nursing home.  It was a question for God, “There has got to be some hope there, I hope I can see it.”

Working closely with people in a nursing home for several years and coming to love the residents was an eye-opening experience for me.  There was more life there than I imagined, even in the midst of a lot of suffering.

Where is God in the picture of old age in your mind?  How do you see aging people relating to God in the challenges they are facing? I am continuing my sermon series on “Aging Gracefully” this week, hope to see you there!

This week’s prayer:  Give us compassion and a spirit of learning, so that we can listen carefully to the wisdom of the very old.

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