Dear People of God,
In his book Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace, Kent Nerburn writes about his experience driving a cab for a living. He remembers one night in particular when he received a call at 2:30 a.m. to go to a small brick fourplex. Thinking he was going to pick up some late night partiers or someone who had just had a fight with his or her spouse, he was surprised when a small woman in her eighties answered the door.
Grace at 2:30 a.m.
She wore a print dress and an old-fashioned pillbox hat. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment was empty, except for a few pieces of furniture covered with sheets and a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. The driver picked up her bag and helped her to the cab. She gave him the address and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?” “It’s not the shortest way.” he answered. “Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice. I don’t have any family left. The doctor says I don’t have very long.” The driver reached over and shut off the meter.
“What route would you like me to go?” For the next two hours, they drove through the city. She pointed out the building where she worked as an elevator operator, the house where she and her late husband lived as newlyweds, the furniture store that was once a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask to slow down in front of a particular building or corner; there she would just sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the dawn broke over the horizon, she said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.” They drove to the small house that served as the hospice. Two attendants came and helped her out of the cab and took her bag. She asked the driver how much she owed for the fare. “Nothing,” he said. “But you have to make a living,” she insisted. “There are other passengers,” he replied. Almost without thinking, he bent over and gave her a hug. She held him tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.” Then, in the dim morning light, he watched as she walked into the hospice.
Life is a precious gift from God. We all need to appreciate now what we have (despite the pains, hurts and struggles of life) because one day it will be over. Take each day as a gift from God and make each day a gift to others.
An elderly woman once shared with me the four secrets to staying young, alive and filled with God.
1) You have to laugh and find humor every day.
2) You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it.
3) There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.
4) Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.
As we continue our journey, take time to give thanks and always live life for others rooted in the Lord Jesus. Summer Blessings!
On the journey with you,