Until I was 10 years old, I lived next door to my grandparents. I saw them nearly every day. My aunt, uncle,and cousins lived on the other side of us. I remember thinking that everyone grew up like that. What a surprise when I found out how unusual that was. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. We would talk and play cards and, no doubt, she formed my love of needle crafts of sewing, quilting, crocheting, and knitting. She loved to bake. Well, I don’t know that she loved it, but I know she was really fabulous at it. When I was 16 she asked me what I would like for Christmas. It was an easy answer: an APPLE PIE! God bless her, she made me an apple pie. I shared it with my boyfriend, a cousin, and her boyfriend after midnight mass that Christmas.
I have dozens of great memories of my grandmother. She was at our wedding in 1988 in her wheelchair. She lived to be 99 ½, passing away in December of 1997. My dad was a very devoted son. As just one example, when Mimi moved to a nursing home, he visited nearly every day. My aunt was just as devoted. My grandmother lived with her for the last few years before the nursing home. They knew how to honor their parents. I hope that we showed our parents honor and respect as they aged and as they weakened and eventually passed. I would like to believe we did. We learned from our parents’ example of caring for their parents with respect and love.
Isaiah 46:4, “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you,” shows the value that God places on the aged. God promises to sustain, carry, and rescue the aged.
We know that Scripture is filled with promises. I believe that each and every one of these promises is true. Often times, we sit around and wait for God to fulfill each promise. I believe that God uses each of us to fulfill His promises. We are each born with a purpose. Our purpose is to glorify God and that can work its way out in countless ways. We each have gifts and talents. Your gifts may be running a business that employs and supports numerous families in your area. You may be a gifted medical professional or someone who can work magic to make a vehicle run again. Some may be gifted with visiting the ill. Some by caring for the babies in a church nursery. Others may be called and gifted to start and run a food pantry. Others may go to the schools and read to youngsters and develop mentoring relationships with the children. Others may be gifted at visiting the aged in nursing homes and assisted livings. This list just scratches the surface.
What is the list of ways we can support the aged as a way of honoring God? Visiting, driving, shopping, entertaining, listening, praying, feeding, hleping to maintain their home, writing letters for them and to them, reading to, working their garden, bringing flowers, etc., etc., etc. Use your imagination. How can you as an individual play your part in God’s promise to sustain, carry, and rescue the aged? In these ways and many more, you will be fulfilling God’s purpose for your life and fulfilling our call found in God’s Word.