“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” — James 5:14 (NIV)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
Let us be mindful that our days upon this earth are already numbered. Be that as it may, I am saddened when I look around and see our elders fading away from our presence as if they were pages in a great novel being turned to get to the next chapter.
However interesting the novel, the pain of completing the book leaves an empty void that’s not easily filled.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m growing older and what was is no longer there, just like the guava trees and the huckleberries, gone or just too difficult to find.
Once gone how do we replace them?
The elegance of aging is a noteworthy progress that requires just the right amount of everything. Too much of any one ingredient could spoil the whole thing and just because it has aged doesn’t make it ripe.
Sure there is an aging process to becoming an elder, but what constitutes a seasoned elder is the benefit to all that has been woven into the fabric of life from the hands, mind and spirit of the elder.
Close your eyes and think back on the wisdom of your grandparents. Who would have ever thought that a spider’s web could stop the bleeding of a severe cut or that fatback and a penny would draw the poison out of the punctured wound from a rusty nail?
Perhaps the sickness that was mentioned in James 5:14 was not merely a physical body illness but a sickness of a people, land and government as well as a sick economy worse than the Great Depression!
The sage wisdom of our elders is slowly, quietly and unnoticeably drifting away. And the sad part about it is a vast amount of the population doesn’t even recognize it; that wisdom is certainly without a doubt an unequivocally endangered species.
One day we will look around to find ourselves in a nothingness created by our lack of resuscitating the value of what our elders gave to us.
Let us allow life to remember them by forever keeping them in the present by living what they gave to us. Not by passing on the legacy of gangs, drive-by shootings, sexually transmitted diseases, and a trillion dollar deficit.
Yes, we can continue to make positive history and not be fearful of a daunting future without them, when we exhibit all of the constructive wisdom they imparted through us.
Miss them we will, but without fear. The greatest we can request, for our elders is, that the Lord will award them mercy, when called to cross the chilly Jordan River, and come to sit in the judgment seat before Christ.
“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” — 1 Timothy 5:17 (KJV)
BEFORE ANYTHING WAS, THERE WAS GOD AND YET HE IS AGELESS