working among object lessons

Posted: August 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

I was unemployed when I got the call to interview with my current employer.  I had been laid off from the domestic violence shelter one Friday afternoon at quitting time (along with several of my friends) and I had been enjoying a holiday season off work, collecting unemployment and keeping myself busy enough to avoid tanking on depression.

When I got the call for the interview, I had to ask twice who it was with.  I had just answered a blind ad that talked about a busy executive office needing help.  Hearing that it was in the senior housing field kind of made my stomach hurt.  I didn’t know how to work with seniors!  I was the youth group lady.  I was comfortable among teens, preteens, even small children…but heck, I could hardly hold up around my peers, much less the senior population!

I ended up at the job because I told God that if the door opened, I was going to assume that was His work and I was going to take the job.  It was kind of like He kicked the door open or blew it out with explosives or something, so despite my trepidation, I said “yes” to the hire and never looked back.

I am so grateful that I did.  I have learned so much in working with seniors – both about that part of life’s journey, and about myself.

I had two very opposite experiences this week that illustrate the variety of my senior experiences.  On Saturday evening after the wedding and reception, Gary and I stopped in at work because the beautiful lady who visits me nearly every morning in my office on her scooter needed to be shown the dress and introduced to Gary.  It was a sweet few minutes and she was both encouraged and encouraging.  Yesterday she presented me with a poem she had composed for us as a wedding gift.  Needless to say, that will go in the “keep this forever” pile.  I want to be like that lady when I am her age.  She teaches me about humor and grace and trusting God pretty much every time I spend time with her.

And then there was the other experience.  Yesterday I ate lunch among the seniors, sitting with my writing pad so that I could get the blog composed.  Nearby was a cute little couple and, being a newlywed, I went right to thinking of how nice it must be to get to grow old with someone.  But what I saw and heard wasn’t so much an example of “so nice.”  He was quiet, sitting there working his way through his lunch.  She, on the other hand,never stopped complaining.  The food, the service, the weather, politics, the failure of their home to sell in a timely manner for a good price, on and on.  She never stopped talking and her words never stopped being a complaint.

That is what I DON’T want to be when I grow old.  I want to be a blessing and an encouragement to my husband and to others around us who are hearing us walk out our senior years.  It seems to me that I need to stay serious about the business of intentional gratitude in the here and now, in order to keep this brain trained not to go into perpetual bitching mode. 

I’m grateful for the object lesson, for the reminder, and for the encouragement He gives me to pray for those who have forgotten how to do anything but complain.

He is good, and His mercy endures forever.

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