Brenda’s Blog – December 17, 2019
I distinctly remember the first time a younger person addressed me as “ma’am.” It struck me – what are they saying? “I recognize you are deserving of respect?” Or, “you look like you need assistance.” Or, even worse – “I need to be useful to that old woman!” YIKES.
Last month my younger sister and I traveled with a Bible study tour to Turkey and Greece. The instructions clearly stated, “Be prepared to walk up to 5 miles a day.” Of course, I could do that. I had no doubts whatsoever.
But “walking 5 miles a day” and hiking up and down ancient ruins and racing up steps to enter the Acropolis before it closed are not within that definition for me. I realized I have moved well past the ma’am stage to downright “Here, take my arm.” Quite a stunning moment.
In raising children I enjoyed watching their developmental steps: scooting, crawling, walking, toilet training and the best of all – getting their own breakfast on Saturday so my husband and I could sleep! There is a reverse developmental pattern, as well. But how stunned I was to see I have entered into the downward spiral.
We gladly gave our children assistance as they struggled to achieve the next plateau. I am not so gladly accepting the help so kindly offered as I devolve.
My Dad’s bedbound condition in his last years could have evoked a negative response. But he handled it with poise and humor. Accepting help was done with grace. He told others, “I am not disabled; I am delightfully dependent.”
Aging is both strange and wonderful. Being the object of ministry activity for others is strange; giving others an opportunity to show God’s care is wonderful.
I may not accept this downhill process as graciously as I should, but I will also seek to understand the way God can use this aging believer.