…people who stopped being curious about life or who were dogmatic and spiteful in their youth seemed to shrivel up and become mean-spirited and disengaged in their twilight years when they most needed to be patient, gracious, and loving in a group living situation with different races, genders, and religions.
There is one old lady who comes to dinner every night, never speaks a word to her table mates, and reads a book all through dinner.
When her table mates confronted her about her anti-social behavior, she simply said, “Oh?” and went back to reading her book.
Ironically, she is not one of the members of my mentor’s book club.
I’m discovering as I lie writhing in pain from my first Zumba exercise yesterday, I can say anything I want, but when and how I age is completely out of my control.
I mean I can exercise more, eat better, floss more diligently, but there is all sorts of shit out there that can bring you down before you even know it.
Maybe our declining years don’t have as much to do with our individual needs, as it does with the community connected to us.
Maybe it is God’s way of saying, if I didn’t make you vulnerable in some part of your lives, you wouldn’t need each other; it is in the serving of the needy that one sees the face of God (“. . .what you do for the least of them, you do for me,” Jesus said).
It’s been a week and I’m discovering that kidnapping my mentor, taking her on a vacation — something she thought she’d never do again — was an act of service that did as much for me as it did for her.
I did see the face of God in her (love, patience, peace, grace, kindness), and she saw that her time and energy had not been wasted on me.