“We spend our days as a tale that is told.” Think about this for a moment. What does this verse mean to you?
I watched as a middle-aged man prepared the couch in his father's hospital room, so that he could comfortably stay to care for him through the night while he was hospitalized. Every day he walked with his father in the corridors, hoping to help his Dad become strong enough to leave the hospital. As the time passed, in an effort to comfort his Dad, he would stay most nights on that generic couch to make certain that his Dad received the much needed attention older people need in order to get better and heal faster. To casual onlookers it may have appeared as if he was doing it all for show—a loving gesture done simply to appease the hospital staff and other onlookers. However, when we spoke, what came to mind was that his attention to his father spoke volumes about how his father had lived his life; and possibly, how his father treated him and his brother, a younger son who also came on alternate days to care for their father.
On a few of those walks in the corridors, when his sturdy arm was placed firmly on his father's frail arm, I could see a photo. —A reverse snapshot of his father’s life. A circle marking the completion of a cycle indicating a full life. As I watched them, I could easily imagine those times, so many years ago, when the father was the one who had the sturdy arm holding the small hand of his young son. Now it was the son's turn to hold him up, completing the circle of life —a tale that has already been told countless times.
...As a society, we dismiss the elderly, forgetting that, if we dismiss them now, someone will dismiss us later. Writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The years tell us much that the days never know.” We are the days, they are the years. We forget that our elders have already found many of the answers we now seek in our own lives; and that, by listening to them, they will save us years of wasted energy, redundancy, and most of all—time.
Make room for the aging process; embrace the gray hairs, the wrinkles, and the years in your elders and yourself. They prove you have lived a life of told tales. It solidifies your connection to the knowledge of things. -It recalls your experience in loving others. It shouts your hope in tribulation, radiates your faith in trials, and enhances your narrative of time with God. -And, it allows you to tell your told tale, and complete what will eventually be, your own circle. L.
Study Reference: Psalm 90
Excerpt from: "A Tale Already Told." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Ian Schneider