I'm feeling young this morning. Young, full of pep, certain I have most of my life ahead of me, and that, given the opportunity (aside from that one small hiccup of fear, which one might go so far as to call a phobia), I could leap tall buildings with a single bound. Yes, I could be a super hero right here at my computer.
And all this from a woman who can barely raise her head from a pillow, take a step without flinching, be touched without pain. It's quite the conundrum , isn't it? By the way, I've always liked using that word--just the sound of conundrum appeals to me, like kerfuffle, juxtaposition, catatonic, Jallolly (a city in Afghanistan), and my alltime favorite, bellachalech ( Dutch word meaning ridiculous, though I might have the spelling wrong). So why am I feeling so young and spry?
Because Beve and I toured a Retirement Complex yesterday, have another to visit this afternoon. I'm checking into doctors who specialize in the elderly, finding out about transportation options for senior citizens. And all that gray hair we saw yesterday, all those walkers just lighten my steps, make me feel youthful--probably far more youthful than I look to anyone else. Yesterday, on the third floor of this building, we walked past a couple riding their adult-sized tricycles through the hallway. But even they looked older than I'm feeling today. We also talked to a woman by the elevator who lost her husband in May after 58 years of marriage. We were staring at some photos of veterans on the wall, and she told us she and her husband were both up there. Yep, they both served in World War II. She was rummy-eyed, with a trembling voice, but there was pride in her words and a love that lasted, continues now while she waits to see him again.
Of course, we're doing all this in preparation for Grampie and Thyrza to move here. And even though we've spent many, many days with them in the walker land of 5th Avenue (the complex where they now live across the water), we haven't ever learned about the inner workings of the place. Yesterday and today, we're learning much about the advantages of such places. Rooms with wide doorways so walkers can move easily. Bathrooms with no lips on the showers and no drawers under the sinks so that wheelchairs can be used. Closets without doors to aid in accessibility. Every room, every hallway, every feature is designed to help residents not only enjoy their new home, but to also be safe. We heard about the call systems, the wrist band residents can wear that will instantly tell the staff where they are should they fall--anywhere in the facility. Press one button and ten people will come running within seconds.
A safe place, a place where all it takes is one pushed button and help comes running. Though I'm feeling young and spry today, far from needing such a place, I also realize we ALL need this. A safe place, a button to push so that help comes. A safe place is what the body of Christ is meant to be. The aid that comes at the push of a button--the cry of a heart, the outstretched hand--is what the people of God are meant to do, not only for fellow believers but for the whole world. For widows like the woman at the elevator yesterday, for orphans like Glo's son, for the poor like the people who populate our streets. No matter what those people believe. And no matter how autonomous they want to be.
The push of a button, the cry of a heart. All around us each day are people who are pushing those buttons, crying out for help. Just today I got an email from a friend asking me to pray for some folks who are besieged by illness on every side: husband, parents, children. Catastrophic loss facing them. And my friend pushed the button called 'send' one this marvelous instrument of help called email. And I'm betting that for all of us, for every person who reads these words, the image of someone comes to mind as I write them. Someone who has fallen and can't get up.
As I was writing the last sentence I got a call from an old friend who has kids the same ages as ours. Their daughter was E's first friend. She's a very worried mom today, has been a very worried mom for a while now. She was wondering why boys seem so much harder at in this first flush of young adulthood than daughters. Had pressed a couple buttons on her phone that would connect us. Help buttons. And this is exactly what I'm talking about. Who comes to mind as someone who needs help in your life? How will you answer? Go running. Run to the one who can meet every need, understands the cries of the human heart. If you're too far away to put your hands on these folks, you can still be their safe place, their call button, and lift them up. Put your hands together and lift them up to Him.