«I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you» (Isaiah 46:.4).
I once had to care for my great-great-aunt who was over ninety years old and keep her company. She looked good for her age, she seemed strong and was totally lucid. She had always been known for her kind and cheerful spirit, her constant activity, her healthy diet, her work in the vegetable garden, her love of God and service to others. Without preaching many sermons, she had taught me a lot about a life of temperance, and her longevity was a testimony to that.
However, I must confess that on that occasion I wondered what the point of becoming so old and depending on other people’s care was. I felt that my question (even though it was internal) was irreverent, and I reflected on it the entire day. But, when I bid her farewell, as she hugged me with her strong, thin arms, and smiled in silence with that playful, loving, Spanish smile, I understood there are people who simply by existing are a powerful life-testimony, and that they shine even more so when they can no longer speak, walk or do other things.
I thanked God for that day and knew that my question had been very necessary to value older people more. From then on, I set out to be more attentive with them.
Years later, I met another elderly woman who, after finding out my last name, quickly asked me if I knew Mary. Indeed, Mary was the aunt I had cared for that time. And now this woman was telling me that, when she was very young, her parents didn’t have much money. One day Mary asked her if she could help her out in some way and also offered her a dress. When she saw it, she noticed it was too small and wouldn’t fit her, but her mom, who was thinner, could use it. Feeling pleased with the gift, she went home and told her mom, «Guess what I brought you?» With great surprise, she heard her mom say, “A blue dress.” It was exactly that! Her mom had prayed specifically for that, and God had answered her prayer.
These two stories may not be very closely related, but God definitely reinforced my faith through both grandmas, and I’m sure He has a lot to teach us through older people.
Look for an older person you can speak with today and set out to take an interest in and listen to the truth. I’m sure you’ll have a very enriching conversation.