Reflection of the Week - 8 September 2020

Posted in Faith

Listening for Wisdom


One of the many challenges in this time of COVID-19 has been balancing the needs of people and the economy. Some voices in the community have advocated for younger people to be able to live their lives ‘normally’ and that older vulnerable people be isolated and perhaps even expendable.

As a Christian I affirm that all people matter to God. God loves everybody just the same. If we find it necessary to set priorities of some people over others then this is a sign of our failure to be fully human. Jesus often comes to us in the outsiders, the vulnerable, and in the older people that some would say have had their time.

I continue to be in awe of what I can learn from older people and their approach to life. Recently I read of an 87-year old who has lived through many tough times and yet is still enchanted with life. He was surprised when told 2020 must be especially challenging for him.

‘No,’ he said. ‘I have learned a long time ago not to see the world through printed headlines – I see the world through the people that surround me. Therefore I choose to write my own headlines: Husband loves wife today. Family drops everything to come to Grandma’s bedside.’ As he pats the interviewer’s hand, ‘Old man makes new friend!’

What are the stories and encouraging words you have heard this year from the older people in your life?

A hospital chaplain wrote recently ‘I’ve listened to really powerful stories from some of the 80 and 90-year olds I meet in the hospital, especially those who experienced the Depression or Eastern Europe in WWll. One thing I’ve noticed is the turning to laughter, and the equanimity. “Still I see the sky this morning!” one elderly Pole said.’

Everyone we meet can be God’s gift to us, if we will listen.



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