Yesterday I visited older adult friends at different care centers. At one of the centers, there is a resident who is known to be bitter and grouchy. The residents shy away from him because his negativity is so hard on their spirits. When I arrived, I saw him driving his power chair in my direction. I have reached out to him many times but he has always rejected my efforts.
This time he pulled his chair up close to me. He spoke in a soft, humbled voice. “I just found out I have cancer.” I put my hand on his arm and told him I was so sorry to hear the news. We chatted a bit, then as he left, I told him I would be praying for him. His eyes filled with tears and he thanked me.
The point is, sometimes older adults have built a tough shell around them. We don’t always know what has soured them on life, but there are moments when their grumpiness gives way to tears… and the body of Christ needs to be there to hold their hands when it does.