Most of our dear friends to whom we minister in nursing homes have seen many seasons come and go. They have weathered hurricanes, droughts, floods, hail, thunder, lightening, searing heat and freezing cold. But they have spent many hours enjoying warm sunshiny days, pleasantly cool evenings and balmy skies. Their eyes have feasted on the sparkling wonder of a quiet Winter snow; the symphony of blossoming colors in Spring; the gleaming, green, wavy wheat fields in Summer; and the blaze of red, and orange and yellow in the Fall. These elderly pilgrims can say with more sincerity and meaning than most, “My, how the seasons fly by!”
In the minds of the elderly, the memories of the past with its pain and pleasure, with its victories and defeats, its successes and its failures, its surprises and its disappointments, all flutter by with unspoken emotions, and quiet understanding. Their wisdom is often unappreciated by the self-confident young. Senior pilgrims hold their lessons and their learning close to their hearts because, now, they look forward to a season they have never seen before. They await the destiny of eternity with a certainty and an inevitability that most of us can only give lip service to. We know about it but we really do not know what it’s like to stand in their shoes.
We would do well to listen to the silent language of experience as we gaze into the deep wells of knowledge in the eyes of the elderly. What do they hear with every heartbeat? How many heartbeats have we taken for granted?
With every beat of their heart they know better than we the end of this life draws closer. How utterly sad if they look upon that door of death without the hope afforded by a relationship with Christ! Who would withhold from them an opportunity, one last chance to say, “Yes!” to Jesus? As our society takes time and information more and more for granted, speeding past our elders with indifference, let those of us who know the Lord, heed His admonition: “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!” (Matthew 25:40 NLT)