The Reason for Old Age?

I just spent two weeks in a convalescent home for therapy for a badly shattered shoulder.
After a few days I felt good enough at eating with my left hand to eat lunch in the dining room.
Being there temporarily, I had just brought exercise clothes.The others were all dressed quite elegantly, even with matching jewelry. I felt a bit shabby until a helper put baby blue terry cloth bibs on all of us. Somehow bibs are a great equalizer!
I have wondered often why God allows old age to be so humbling. Having some pride seems a virtue of sorts. But now I think that is what old age is about. Recognizing that we are all equal in God’s eyes and loved just as we are without one plea or status symbol. Over and over Jesus tells us that His way is not the world’s way, that our value is based on the love of God,  not achievement, riches, nationality, religion, image.

More and more I realize that only when we either let go or are stripped of those, do we discover not only our human brotherhood, but our oneness with all, including  Jesus, the human expression of the unconditional love that is God.

What was the “Way” of Jesus?   It was to witness to the Love that is God by healing the sick, feeding the hungry and calling us to do the same. How did it end in worldly terms?  In helplessness, unvalued by the world, identified with the lost, no longer even able to help himself, never-the-less others, abandoned by almost all of those closest to him.

I can tell you from experience with my mother’s dying by inches with Alzheimer’s and friends who spent their last years in nursing homes or even alone most days living with their children who work, Jesus’ last days describe many peoples’ last years.

We leave the world the way we came into it: naked, helpless, equal, of infinite value, and loved by God because of whom God is, not whom we are.

And the challenge of life is to become able to love ourselves and others the same way.

Advertisements

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of seven, 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator; Presently part time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for Architect husband of fifty-seven years. Blog: Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Posted on March 10, 2016, in Gifts of Age, Love, Paradox, rebirth, Spiritual, Suffering, Teaching/Learning Experiences and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m in my 40’s but having seen my father in his 80’s become totally dependent on my mother and their 4 daughters, I realized how humbling it must be for him to be old and weak. And now it’s my mom’s turn. But such is life.

  2. Eileen, it’s nice to see you back here with your humour and wisdom! I hope your convalescence continues to go well.

    • thanks. Just beginning to type with two hands again. HOPING TO GET SOME WRITING DONE WHILE
      I can’t drive. Still clumsy…don’t know why all the caps! Extra grateful for being connected to the world through my
      blogging friends while so limited.

  3. Eileen
    As my good friend David Hightower often says: ‘growing old isn’t for wimps.’

    Healing and love to You

    john

  4. I hope you’re feeling better now Eileen – I love that thought on why old age is humbling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: