Frequently I see an older gentleman walking near where I work. He apparently lives in the assisted living home located there. I've seen him strolling back and forth from the shops in front of our commercial center to his residence. He often is carrying a newspaper or a coffee as he walks. I would judge his age to be about 80. He moves with the slight hitch that comes with joints that complain. His appearance is somewhat scholarly and I could imagine that, in his working years, he might have been an attorney, a physician or perhaps a college professor. Those years are behind him now and his routine has become much simpler. He strolls in the morning to buy a newspaper and in the evening to get some exercise. When he was younger, and in the prime of life, he likely was highly regarded and needed as a competent professional. His expertise, knowledge and wisdom may have been a cornerpiece in his community and he also probably raised a family and worked through the challenge of career and home life. But now, others live in the center of life's cauldron. Others fight the battles, analyze the issues, teach the lessons, deal with child rearing. He is in the backwater now. I can't help but think of how we "envy" youthfulness in our culture and cast off our senior ones. I think we need to measure the beauty marked by those who limp, those with wisps of silver instead of flowing locks, those with halting speech and dimmed vision and whose hearing is diminished. Each of these marks of age are also reminders of ones who have come through the battles of life that many of us are still waging. They are to be honored and not forgotten.
Leviticus 19:32 'You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.