~~~ Charles Swindoll
There is something about old things; churches, cemeteries, barns, bridges, books and especially people that I find intriguing and so fascinating.
Old hard bound, leather books are of my favorite with their gilded edges and the smell of the musty pages filled with words, lessons, messages and stories that have endured the ages.
Churches built by hand so long ago as a place to gather and pray and worship God. Oh, the sound of voices lifted high in praise and the echoes of the preachers resounding and thunderous voice as with great passion their words pierce the ears and penetrate to the soul of the congregants.
And then the old cemeteries with cold stone markers those often are next to the churches where grieving families laid to rest their loved ones with broken hearts and cried over the loss and void left by their departure.
And old people, oh, my favorite! Example, my niece is studying for her CNA (certified nursing assistant) and had the opportunity to work beside a nurse yesterday and physically came in contact with some of the residents at the nursing home. As Shannassy replayed an earlier encounter with a lovely older woman that she assisted dressing, the lady unable to speak, but spoke volumes when she took Shan’s hand and pressed it to her cheek. Her hollow, darkened eyes were brimmed with tears; she was saying “Thank-you” for a brief moment of kindness and gentleness. It was such a sweet and unforgettable moment for her; one woman sharing an intimate moment with another while decades separated them in age, Shan realized they weren’t that different after-all. Shan looked at the lady’s hand that was frail, wrinkled, spotted with age, bent, crooked fingers and held it close to hers to feel her pulse. The thought came about the delicate way these same hands once held the hand of her husband fingers entertained and how she caressed his face, brushing his hair from his forehead and the way those hands cradled and gently swaddled her newborn baby and how those hands held her crying child pulling her babe to her breast. These very same hands washed sinks full of dirty dishes and folded hundreds of baskets of fresh laundry throughout her life. Well I’m crying now as Shan tells me this story as is Shan. We talk of how special old people are and the life they once lived with such high hopes, big dreams, ups and downs and plenty of disappointments and heartbreaks too.
These encounters with OLD things and people do more than stir up nostalgic feelings for me; they remind me that I am not alone in this journey from birth to death and earth to Heaven. By looking through the pages of yesterdays and yesteryears, the broad view into tomorrow isn’t really that scary after all. If they made it, if they endured, if they lived, if they loved, if they lost and if they overcame and if they survived the journey pressing on courageously through many adversities, prejudices, wars, the great depression, new inventions, failures, celebrations and even deaths; then so can I! They each have a story to tell, a memory to recall and a heart that is still beating. I can hear them say, “Keep going, you can make it and don’t quit now!”
Though new things are being invented, new ways of living with modern, faster and more efficient devices and the way we think and what we value and hold precious as a society may change; BUT one thing remains unchanging and that is Father Gods love and grace and mercy for us. He is everlasting and has always been and is now and always will be.
Isaiah 40 says, “God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He is Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out; He doesn’t pause to have to catch His breath. He knows everything inside and out.”
Take time today to reflect upon the old things in your life and all the old around you, especially the older people. Be respectful, be kind and take a moment to give them a chance to pour their vast wealth of wisdom into you. One day all too soon, it will be us at their old age.
Sow seeds of love, kindness, patience and gentleness into someone’s life today and you will have an incredibly beautiful, fruitful, prosperous and blessed day my precious friends.
Tonya F. Henshaw