May 18

I KIngs 1:1-2:9, 2:10-12; 2 Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 25, I Chronicles 29:23-20

Even David got old. We tend to remember him as a young shepherd, a brave young man who killed a giant. But that little boy grew up and he got old.

I am with two of my sisters today, taking care of my brother-in-law’s 92 year old aunt whose body is frail and whose mind is easily confused. There are pictures of her around her home when she was a younger woman. She taught kindergarten for 40 years in this small New York town.

She has been a part of our family for over thirty years and I remember her as a fun woman, quick with a laugh. But today she’ll struggle to stand. She can’t swallow her food easily and will dribble a little on her shirt.

Watching people you love decline with age can be hard. And to tell you the truth, I am not a gifted caretaker. But my sister who is using her STNA training is. I watch both of my sisters lovingly speak to this dear woman, kid her, wash her face, and hug her when they help her to her chair.

I hope if God allows me to see 92 years of this life there will be a Peggy or a Kathy to wash my face, too.

If you are fortunate enough to have an elderly person near you I would challenge you to spend time with them. Listen to them. Make them smile and help them feel worthwhile and loved. They are a gift from God.

In our modern society we tend to disregard the old. We throw things away, tear down buildings, trade in our cars at the first sign of age. But the Bible tells us to honor our elders. It tells us our elders have some things to teach us. While God gives them life we are encouraged to care for them. More than that. We have the privilege of letting them know they are loved.

Dear God, I thank you that in creation you devised a way for us to slow down. But, God I pray for aging people who are alone today. Forgive us for neglecting to hold them in a place of honor. May you prompt us to reach out to a dear one who needs encouragement today. And may you find us faithful.

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