A couple of days ago, a friend and I were at the local Habitat for Humanity store, looking at home furnishings and such. He ended up a few aisles away from me, and he was soon in conversation about the Lord with an old man of about 80 years. I saw them talking for a couple of minutes, and then worked my way over to them. Turns out his name is Cecil, and he is a seasoned, Bible believing Christian. Tall, thin, wearing jeans, full of life, and words of wisdom in the faith. He had a real “salt of the Earth” personality. The three of us stood there for probably 30 minutes and spoke about the things of God, sharing in some laughs as well. We let him do most of the speaking. What a great experience! He was surely a blessing to us, and we hope we were the same to him. He loves the Lord. He knew a lot of things, and is fairly deep in knowledge of church history (one of my favorite topics). It was great conversation, and ended with a prayer as we finally parted ways out of necessity of time. For all we know, he could be one of those “angels unaware”, as mentioned in Hebrews 13:2.
Here though, is my point. Older people are needed in the church, yet they are often greatly undervalued in the modern churches. In fact, they are sometimes driven out by the excess of rock and roll music and ultra-modern “too cool for old people” type services. The word “hymn” has almost become a bad word in some churches. It’s not just the music that drives them out, but also a variety of other factors. This should not be. I believe the elder members of the body of Christ are essential to any church’s spiritual health. I honestly would not want to be part of a church that had no seniors (or had very few in proportion). I hope we can all place added value and respect to those seniors who have been walking with God longer than we have been walking on our two legs.
Seniors have so much to offer us, and are so often left alone and ignored by the younger folks in church. Over the past few months, I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone at church, and have been speaking to people who I usually would not immediately go to for conversation. I, like most people, tend to be drawn to the people closer my age group. (I am 45 at this time) Upon initiating conversation with some elder members, sometimes I am immediately amazed at their warmness, and their savvy wisdom. Most of them have seen much more than I have seen, and certainly lived much longer than I have lived. They have much to offer, and not just stories of their past. There is much to be learned from them.
As for the old man at Habitat for Humanity…God bless you Cecil, wherever you are. May God grant us the crossing of paths again!