Funny Thing #7
Isaiah 46:4 ESV
For the better part of my life I’ve defended myself when it comes to my age.
I remember one summer when I was in college in Kansas City driving through the Country Club Plaza when I was suddenly pulled over by a policeman.
I was pretty shook up.
I wasn’t speeding and I didn’t run a red light.
The policeman asked me if I knew how fast I was going. I told him. (It was the speed limit). Still, he asked if he could see my driver’s license.
I handed him my license.
He carefully looked at the license and at me, then at my license and again at me.
I asked him if there was a problem. He said, “well, no”.
I politely asked him why he stopped me. He said, “I didn’t think you were sixteen.”
I wasn’t sixteen.
I was twenty years old.
It certainly doesn’t help my case when I step into a room. I am 4’11” tall and I can wear girl’s size clothes. I wear a size 4.5 or a size 5 shoe. That used to be a horrible problem for me as manufacturers pretty much stopped making or carrying anything below a size six. (However, in recent years European sizes can be purchased online and they do carry my size.) My Mother’s Mother wore a size 3.5 or a size 4 shoe all her life. My shoe size is a curse. Seriously. I am a Leprechaun.
None of that is unusual for the women in my family. My Mother is the tallest (older) woman and she’s 5’2” tall. My great-grandmothers were 5’ tall. My grandmothers were 5’ tall and 5,1” tall. One of my grandmothers lived to her mid-90’s and the other lived to be almost 98 years old. My Mother just turned 95 and she isn’t really showing signs of slowing down.
Still, outliving everyone your age is a blessing and a curse. I’ve noticed by watching all of them that burying spouses and all of your friends is very difficult.
I have to say that even though the women in my family have not aged like bananas. Time will tell if the same will be true for me.
In Isaiah 46:4 the prophet wrote, “even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
One of the goals I have…really a promise is that if God does choose to keep me around here for a while, I will intentionally mentally age gracefully.
I love Isaiah’s words because they are a prayer for me (and for others like me). I am determined to look to God and rely on God to carry me no matter how old I am.
I will embrace the promise that God made me and will bear me up when I’m old and gray.
I rely on the thought that God will carry me every day and will save me from the thought that my sorrow will overtake me if everyone my age has gone on before me.
For now…back to the banana.
My hope is that if I do age like a banana, I will have a graceful smile, a kind word, and a hearty laugh even if I’ve shriveled up and grown much shorter.
The good news for my family is that my children all married spouses as tall or taller than them (see the picture I drew of us in 2004). As a result, six of my eight grandchildren have passed me up. One of them is going into the fourth grade next fall.
That…really makes me smile. Know why?
The leprechauns are growing!
Spiritual Practice: Aging
Tell God however it works out for you (aging like a banana or not a banana), His grace will carry you through.
In God, Deborah