Okay, a few days ago I clicked on one of those links that make you keep clicking on "NEXT" to see more photos. It was a post about Hollywood couples that have been married for decades. First, I was surprised how many there were. That was a wonderful thing to see. Second, and this is what got me thinking, some of the people featured looked awful -- not because of their age but because they were trying so hard to appear young and sexy rather than their dignified age.
The second thing I read was yesterday in Our Daily Bread. Some countries are putting out Friendship Benches. There is a grandma-type lady who sits on the bench and is there for anyone to come and talk to her. The "grandma" I believe has some training in listening skills and such, but the main thing is that people who are depressed or overwhelmed with life come and have a conversation with someone who will listen and really cares. And these benches are doing really good things. I love this idea!
Those two things I read about are now milling around in my mind and I am wondering if our culture that is so focused on youth and sex that we are forgetting some of our greatest treasures are our elders. I'm not saying we should all look awful. Go ahead and dress nice and take care of the bodies and faces God has given you, but we are really losing out on a great opportunity to just relax and be ourselves and enjoy the new wrinkles and graying hair knowing these bodies are temporary tents for our true selves.
Younger people need us to be content in our aging and if we are aging wisdom ideally has been building up in us too. Think about the grandma Friendship bench. If a Grandma is trying to be young and sexy I just don't think a person is going to feel as comfortable talking to her as a Grandma who is comfortable and just shining for Jesus and just looks kind.
(Remember I mentioned above that I didn't know if I could write this out coherently and I know this is borderline coherent)
I know our society doesn't respect and revere elders anymore overall, but we should. Other than the health issues and the aches and pains that come with age, getting older is a good thing. I love being 51 and life just keeps getting better. Our churches, our society, the world needs the wisdom God has taught us and is still teaching us. Let's focus on the inner person rather than the outer person. Sure, go ahead and look nice and dress how you want -- there's nothing wrong with that. But the beauty of the inner person is what really makes a person beautiful. One of my friends who is 80 (I think) is so pretty because she has the light of Jesus in her. And she has a calmness about her that the world just can't shake. When I first saw her I thought, she is beautiful.
"The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair." Proverbs 20:29