Encountering God Through The Elderly

April 25, 2003
by Ruth Tweedle

Psalm 71:18 – Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. (NIV)

One day recently, after I'd missed my bus at the mall, I ended up waiting for the next bus with a 95-year-old woman, who was on her way to buy groceries by herself. She hadn't been out of the house in three weeks. The weather has been bitterly cold here in North Bay and all over northern Ontario, and this particular day was one of the better ones.

I helped her with the door, watched her as she got out her cane with the snow claw on it, and walked carefully with her to the bus shelter. We talked about the weather in Vancouver where her daughter lives. She said she'd move there, but it would be too much trouble at her age.

I began to think about my older friends back home on St. Joseph Island. Many of these people keep going and going with help from members of the community, because they don't have the benefit of the city bus. Some of my friends who are over eighty-five can't even leave their homes or drive because of health problems. But God is always with them. God keeps them company and will carry them home to heaven when it is their time.

God also works in the hearts of those who help them, visit them, call them, or write them. Young people have to hold on to the memories and stories of these people and pass them on to the next generations, so that these people, who saw so much throughout their lives, will never be forgotten.

One of the ways in which God reminds us of His faithfulness is through the presence of the elderly among us. He calls us to be faithful in response.

Prayer: God, thank You for the elders of our communities and those who are shut-in. Be a comfort to them in their darkest hours, be with them while they are doing the little things that we take for granted, and help them to see the light when it is their time to go home to You. Please, help us younger people to remember them while they are still with us, and also after they have gone to be with You in heaven. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Ruth Tweedle
North Bay, Ontario, Canada

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