Lessons from a 93 Year Old

I had one of those experiences last night that’s going to stick with me for a long time.

Sunday night. 7:30pm. And I was going to a church I had never been to.

I moseyed in the back and found a seat in the second-to-last row, just off the aisle.

Mass started. We were about 15 minutes in, and the priest was giving the homily.

And this old man hobbled in. He was at least 90, hunched over his cane, shuffling along. And he plopped down right next to me.

Now, how can I put this delicately…his entrance was not…shall we say…discrete.

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As an elderly gentleman, his hearing was obviously going, because what he thought were whispers, actually were yells.

Is someone sitting here!? What day is it!? September 4? What’s the page number?

Now, if you’ve never been to Catholic mass, disruptions are…rare and…unwelcome.

People were looking back with pursed lips and furrowed brows, trying to see who this rude disruptor was.

Meanwhile, I was just trying to sink into my seat and keep this man quiet. I got the Missalette open to the correct page for him and quickly whispered the answers to his questions. I even nodded along when he would add a loud interjection about what the priest was talking about.

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I hate to admit it, but my initial response was so superficial and selfish. I was hoping people wouldn’t think he was with me. I was just praying to myself, Oh God, please just make him keep his mouth shut!

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But during mass, I felt my heart soften towards this man. Here he was, he had to be 90+. Alone, on a holiday weekend. Granted he didn’t smell the freshest, but he had a plaid collared shirt on, pressed kakis, and neatly combed hair.

I could only imagine what he thought of me, showing up to mass in my short shorts and sleeveless top.

But it was at the “sign of peace” (where you shake hands with those around you) that I really got a good look in his eyes. No one was shaking his hand, as he was seated and hunched over, and I kinda bent down and positioned my face to be in line with his face, and those eyes pierced my heart. They were so kind and warm, definitely not deserving of the harsh thoughts I was previously thinking.

Cue the Catholic guilt…

But after mass, as I was gathering up my things, getting ready to leave, he said to me, “Thank you for helping me.”

And I looked at him, smiled and said…”You’re welcome, sir. Have a great night.

And as I turned to go, I felt his eyes following me. He was still sitting down, and I looked over my shoulder, and I saw that he had twisted his body to watch me walk away. And he had this expression on his face that seemed like…he had something to say. Like he was wanting to chat.

So I went back over, and sat down next to him. “What’s your name, sir?”

And this man lit up. He shook my hand and introduced himself…with his full name.

When I told him mine he says, “Oh, that’s a movie star name.”

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But he told me about how he loves to come to mass, and that he had heard about Mother Theresa’s canonization on the news. He was 93 years old and had a “long walk” from his apartment to get to church….why he was late. It was clear that this man was hungry for some human interaction…someone to talk to.

And as I was walking home, I just couldn’t stop thinking about that man. I could feel my heart just swelling. Melting. Breaking almost. That was someone’s dadThat could be my dad one day in the far future. 

And I found myself just so convicted that I had judged that man so harshly when he walked in. He was doing his best to get to church, and God bless him for making that walk by himself at 93 years old.

And my whole day turned around, just having that little interaction. I was filled with so much gratitude for my own dad, and my heart was so warm and touched after conversing with that man, who had such a kind and gentle spirit.

It just goes to show that truly, if you give a little, you get a lot.

All I did was have a little 2 or 3 minute conversation, and what I got in return was a new perspective. I got love. I got a feeling of gratitude. I was so blessed by this man.

Anywho, I just wanted to share that story. Not to toot my own horn, and proclaim how pious and charitable I am…Please, that is the last thing I am.

That interaction is going to stick with me for a long time.


Because no matter how old we get, deep down, we all need love. And love is reciprocal. You give a little. Get a lot.

 

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333 thoughts on “Lessons from a 93 Year Old

    1. Thank you so much! You’re always such a source of encouragement for me:) glad it hit home with you:) yeah sometimes God reveals glimpses of Himself in the most unlikely of places! Hugs and love xox

      1. Thanks so much. Yeah true. I don’t know how it works either! We’re all just journeying along together, trying to figure it all out! Haha thanks for stopping by. Have a great night xox

  1. Great post! Reminds me of the verse from a John Prine song about old people “waiting for someone to say hello in there” on our walk of faith I pray our hearts will be open to those God wants us to meet.

  2. What an awesome thing to happen to you! I absolutely loved talking with my Grandfather (similar to your experience) as he had so much wisdom and truth to share it was hard to keep up with him. I visited him every weekend during the last year he was with us to bring him a 6-pack and a cigar and we talked until that cigar was gone. He was 84 when he passed and as far as I knew, had a 6-pack and a cigar every weekend since he was in his late teens. Older people are awesome, in fact, the ones that get to the point where the “filter” stops working are the most adorable!

    1. Thank you so much! Yeah I was pretty fortunate to experience that. It sounds like you were a bright spot in his life. I’m sorry that he is no longer with us. Sounds like an amazing man. I agree! Hugs and love xox

  3. Reblogged this on Beyond Halfway and commented:
    Carolyn at Beauty Beyond Bones recently wrote about an encounter with an old man at church. He arrived late, sat next to her, and created a fuss while trying to settle in and get caught up with the service. Carolyn helped him, but was unhappy that he had intruded and fearful that others might associate him with her. Things turned around for her, as you’ll see when you read the post. There is an innocence and guilelessness about the elderly that enables them to be an icon, a window into the nature of God. I hope that, should I become an old, befuddled man some day, I can be the sort of blessing to others that this old man was to Carolyn.

  4. What a lovely story. Thank you for doing that because you made the world a little bit better through your kindness. If we could all slow down for a while we might have the time to notice others in need.

  5. Beautiful post! I could totally relate to this, and could feel myself in mass sitting next to that man. It’s wonderful how you went back to talk to him. I’m sure you made his day. Loved this!

  6. Yea, I’m getting to be like that old man. But I’m only 49 (and holding). I walk 2 miles to where I go to church. Few people ever offer me a ride home. The men don’t like me there, I guess because I try and dress up because I don’t like to go around in my cut offs like everyone else. I try and dress like a lady with nice dress and hair done up. I guess they think I’m looking for attention….and sometimes I am because my husband divorced me and I have to live alone. I have no one to love me. I have to grow old alone. No one to share life with. So yes, it’s for that little bit of human interaction that I go, and people most of them men don’t want me there to be honest and don’t want to even offer me something to drink. I feel unwanted and rejected, but I keep going for the ones who *are* nice to me.

    1. Hi there friend, thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry you are feeling that way. Know that there are definitely people who want you there. I know that you are a blessing to me and I am grateful for your friendship:) keep being you, because it’s awesome and the right people will see and appreciate that:) sending so many hugs And love xox

  7. I am enjoying a few moments of watery eyes, very happy for you. We will all be old one day and will need exactly what you gave; Time, in a busy world that blows right on by the slow movers. Well done!

  8. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. I’m so glad you took the time to touch that old man’s life. It makes me want to look for opportunities to do the same thing. Very inspirational. Be blessed

  9. I LOVE reading your posts! This is a beautiful interaction. I love giving out communion and looking at the hands that accepts Jesus’ body. I pray that He looks out of my eyes to each person and I love the different types of hands that come before me. Young and plump. Wrinkled and arthritic. Soft or rough. All treasured. Like you are my dear!

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much Vicki! Wow what a powerful way to see being a Eucharistic minister. Oh my gosh that is getting me choked up. You are such a beautiful spirit. Thank you for blessing me with this tonight! Massive hugs xox

  10. This made my evening! 🙂 Love in the little ways goes a long ways indeed…I have many of these ‘moments’ I call them ‘God appointments’ and they do indeed change all around…kindness is free and when it’s from the heart it truly does change the sphere around us…

  11. God bless you young lady. Trust me, you did as much, if not more, for him as he did for you. You treated him with kindness & respect. Apparently not many of those other Fine folks had…”Hold’em Hook”…..BG>

  12. Loved this post..such a sweet gesture of yours towards the man..appreciate it …and the line just give little and you will get a lot, I have even experienced such moments of joy..giving inner peace and satisfaction ….you rock ..Tc.

  13. This is awesome. Too often we people judge outward appearance, but we have an awesome God who doesn’t. Jesus intentionally welcomed in all the outcasts, poor, sick people. Jesus himself was born to a poor couple in a cow stall. Perhaps this tells us something about how God intended to reach the world. Thanks for sharing this story BBB 🙂

  14. What a beautiful post! God put you right where he wanted you to be that day.. Our elderly are so often over looked how precious and sweet to share a few minutes with him!
    XOXO
    Elizabeth

  15. Reminds me of the Memorial Day service years back when, on my way out of church, I bouncily greeted an old man in a wheelchair, and asked “So what are your plans for Memorial Day.” He rather gruffly informed me that “You don’t get to make many plans when you live in a home!” Instant guilt feelings, which I swamped by asking him if he’d like me to visit … Instant dismay when he said yes.

    So the Hubbit and I showed up the next day … I think we took cookies. He wasn’t expecting us, didn’t really know what to do with us. We didn’t know what to say to him, as he sat there picking dried porridge off his face. I felt pretty depressed as we left. It wasn’t actually a bad place, where he was staying … just sterile, you know? And he was clearly lonely.

    Anyway, I went back. He was so thrilled to see me! Over time we became friends. I visited him once a week and sometimes gave him a ride to church, and the home started calling me when he had a doctor appointment because he liked that better than going on the special bus. He died a few years ago. I still miss him.

    You could do that, you know, for your old man. If you wanted to. Just saying… 🙂 They’d probably be able to give you his contact information if you asked the church.

    1. Oh, and just to explain, NO I am not one of those visiting types. I barely visit my own friends! And I don’t have any special liking for old people. But I guess God kinda dumped Norton in my lap, and I found I liked having him there. So not trying to guilt you or anything … it was just a suggestion … or an encouragement, in case you’d already thought of it but thought it would be weird.

    2. Thank you so much for this reflection. Aw what a beautiful story!! What a kind thing to do. You really made him feel loved. I’m sorry for your loss. That’s a great idea. Hugs and love xox

      1. Well … thank you, but I wasn’t actually motivated by kindness so much as by shame. The bleak honesty of his response – no self-pity, just “Get real, lady” in tone – made me aware of how blessed I was, and at that time I wasn’t sharing a whole lot of the blessings. Kindness came later… It grew out of friendship, and it was mutual… 🙂

  16. Whatever the religion, there are faithful busy ignoring commandment 9 and the various versions of “judge not lest ye be judged” (like, for instance, attend to the plank in your own eye rather than the speck in mine or the stone-casting one).
    It was great that you recognized that this fella was STILL doing his best, at 93, to show up and publicly demonstrate his faith. Good job!

  17. This post is so full of love and kindness for someone you spoke with for only a few mins. God reveals Himself in many different ways and the kindness you showed this man is definitely inspiring ❤

  18. Wow… A lot of feelings welling up here. Making me a bit misty. This past year is the first time I’ve really felt old. With my health history, I must admit anything can happen anytime. My brain feels young. My thoughts feel young, but the machinery isn’t doing too hot. And I spend so much time traveling, seeing no one but business related folks, I’ll always pray I get a friendly waitress that evening. Just to chat for a few seconds and feel like someone other than a salesman.

    I have nothing on Norton, but I get him. And your comment about his eyes especially caught my attention. In my novel, The Substance Hoped For, I wrote a scene of Mary & Joseph meeting Simeon at the temple when they were there for Jesus’ ceremony:

    “Simeon next faced Mary, who held Jesus tightly to herself. She saw his face and the years that it wore. She was a long while getting past the long, white beard and sallow, wrinkled skin. She looked beneath the grizzled eyebrows and caught her breath. His eyes! They were so unlike the rest of him! They were strong and warm and loving and… they were young! They shone and twinkled and smiled at her.”

    Not too far off from your description of Norton, eh?

    Tonight’s Patreon kickoff is great! I hope you got my last email. I don’t want you to think I left yesterday’s post without a comment. 🙂 All the best to you and your continued success on all fronts!

    1. Hey Jeffrey! Thank you so much:) yeah the traveling life is hard on a lot of fronts. Now I know how to specifically pray for you: a friendly waitress:) wow what a powerful passage. I would love to read your book someday:) thanks for be in your awesome self:) Hugs and love xox

      1. Well, I try to be awesome. I just ask myself, “What would Beauty do?” 🙂 And if you’re going to pray for a nice waitress, might as well ask for a brunette with great eyes. LOL. 🙂

  19. My grandfather is 90 years old and a widower. The love of his life left him two years ago this month. For him going to church can be a bit difficult because of his age. He also needs human contact from people not of his family. You were gracious to that gentleman and Jesus was smiling I know.

  20. “He had no beauty or majesty that we should be drawn to him” (from Isaiah 53). So often, Jesus has come to me in the unattractive, the easily dismissed, the overlooked. He is the original diamond in the rough 🙂 Paul also says not many of those called are noble, strong, or wise, yet God has chosen the weak & foolish to bring to nothing the things that are (1 Cor. 1:26-31). God bless!

  21. What a wonderful story of grace given and grace received! And, yes, this is so true: “Because no matter how old we get, deep down, we all need love.” 🙂

    God bless you.

  22. I really enjoyed this post! It is one of my pet peeves that as a society we tend to ignore the elderly and they spend too much time alone in their thoughts. I have often wondered how many of them are senile simply because they are alone too much, and how many of them really wouldn’t be that way if they hadn’t spent so much time in their own world. I also don’t like it when you go with an older person to the Doc and the Doc starts talking to you when you are not the patient and there is nothing wrong with the patients mind. I feel that is a grave disrespect to the older person. After all, we all get old, if we are blessed, and we should think ahead to how we would like to be treated. Also I want to tell you that I find it awesome that at your age (not intending to speak down to you at all on this, but some things are learned as you get older) you were able to overcome your embarrassment at becoming the center of attention because of someone who is next to you! Bravo! As you get older and older you will find that what used to be embarrassing is down right funny! One of my children once climbed under a church pew and shouted out “Be Quiet! BEEE Quiet!” in a very strange voice to a very loud and screaming type of minister. The timing was very embarrassing because there was a miniscule (can’t spell it!) gap of silence in the minister’s sermon! Time stood still at that moment, then I heard a bunch of snickering from my fellow congregants! We were all thinking the same thing as the kid, but dared not say it! My cheeks I am sure were completely aflame..now I tell that story and even then after it was over I found it highly amusing. Another lady at our church used to yell out corrections to the minister during his sermon…he took it very well (different minister and church) and even answered her. I really admired him for that! I am so glad that you had this moment with the elderly gentleman! Good for you!

    1. thank you so much for this beautiful reflection, Cheryl. I know it wasn’t funny at the time, but i can just picture the scene with your child at church! thank you for sharing! you’re right – the elderly definitely deserve our utmost respect 🙂 thank for stopping by! hugs and love xox

  23. I am not really sure how to say this but with my background, I have gone to churches of various denominations, CRC, Baptist, and yes Catholic, to name a few, believe me those looks are thrown at all of them and I have gone to a couple where some of the parishioners aren’t afraid to tell you to be quiet and worse, “Oh yes you heard me” I have seen my share of all the best of both sides while they are in church. There are some in my past who have brought themselves all dressed up in three piece suits women in their dresses ect. but forgot their brains at home on the pillow their mouths and attitudes said they had left something at home or maybe their underwear both men and women alike were in a bunch.

    1. Hey friend! Thanks for this reflection. You’re right-I think judgment is alive and well in every church, school, business, on the street-you name it. It’s our default as humans. It’s always a lot easier said than done to try not to, you know? So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  24. Such a sweet story…thanks for sharing. Don’t you love when God uses us, in all our weaknesses and imperfections, to still be His hand extended. Makes you feel closer to God than ever!

  25. It’s really heartwarming and emotional story at the same time.. I am glad I got the chance to read it.. I wish if you had shared a real picture of him and you or just him, it would be so lovely to see whom I just imagined.. great post.

  26. Beautiful! There’s so much to learn from those which society views as the least. It’s humbling to hear your experience and the things you learned from it!

  27. What a wonderful wonderful story. I´ve had experiences like those, too. They are really mind opening. I am so happy for you and proud of you for making him and yourself happy. It is really the little things that count and go a long way. A “hello”, a smile, a few words. Like you said: love. Everybody needs it.
    I am very sure you´re Dad will be one of the lucky ones with a loving family at his side in church.
    All the best and a happy weekend! XO

  28. We are all often quick to judge. Even if its silently in our own head without voicing those thoughts. And we must be those people who appear in the posts of others, as ‘some people just looked at my child having a meltdown’ or ‘they looked at me with a sideways look of horror that really hurt’. But its what we do when we -or in this case you lovely blogger – realise there is a person within each exterior waiting for company support or simply a smile that truly matters.
    Thank you…

  29. I remember my mum telling me when I was young to smile at everyone as someone may need it more than you think! Apparently smiling is contagious! I was having a rest from running on a park bench one day and a homeless guy sat down, I smiled at him and he said ‘no-one had smiled at him or spoken to him for almost a year!’

  30. This was a touching and incredibly loving story. Society is very quick to dismiss the elderly (and I am no saint) but we have so much to learn from them. God built us to be in relationship withthe one another. It isa great that you both got something out of the conversation.

  31. Bless you for your kind regards of the elderly. The one thing about getting old is that your mind does not recognize your body is aging.I can actually see myself in that gentleman.When you looked into his eyes did you see his youth? Just wondering.

    1. Thanks Bill:) when I looked in his eyes, I could see the kindness of his heart and spirit. He definitely came alive and yes, I think he lost about 30 years in that moment. ❤️ Hugs and love xox

  32. What a sweet and honest post. I really appreciate your candidness about your initial reaction to the interruption, but I even more deeply admire your ability to allow your heart to be moved beyond that first response. I admittedly struggle quite a lot with judgment, negative thinking, and the emotions that could probably be lumped into anger and fear (bitterness, resentment, hard-heartedness, anxiety, thinking everything must be exactly a certain way)… all the stuff that originally contributed to my ED. Your blog is a great source of an opposite message. Thank you for once more providing that through how you live, how you love, and what you share here. Xoxo

    1. Thanks Lulu:) you went on a reading spree this morning! Haha Thank you! And what a beautiful reflection. You always encourage me so much. It is so appreciated. Much love my friend xox

      1. I hope you were serious about reading what I wrote. Here it is:

        At the end of the day, four women reached their journey’s end and stood at the mouth of the cave. Each one peering in, hoping to get a glimpse of the path. Instead, it seemed as if the darkness absorbed all light. Because of the growing night, they decided to camp until daybreak.
        The first woman, holding her face toward the dawning day, said, “I will go first. After all, my years of studying and charitable works has prepared me for this day. I have lived a righteous life and am not like the three of you.”
        Her three companions shielded their eyes as she held her life’s work before them, a lamp with finely cut jewels and ornate filigree. Without waiting for the others to respond, she raised her lamp as if it were a great beacon and moved toward the opening. Upon entering the cave, the darkness swallowed her light except for a tiny beam. Bent over, she stumbled along, straining to see the dimly lit path.
        Outside, the three other women watched the first woman disappear into the cave, each with their own thoughts.
        The second woman reasoned I am certainly a good person. Even though my light is not as dazzling as hers, it will be sufficient for I am not a sinner like these two. Saying nothing to the two remaining travelers, she clutched her lamp close to her chest. Taking each step as if the ground moved beneath her feet, she tiptoed into the cave like she was entering a bear’s den. Immediately, her torch was snuffed out as if by a gale wind. Trembling, she ventured further into the dark beckoned by the light of a candle.
        Glancing at her neighbor, the third woman said, “I need no lamp. I am a light unto myself. I never did anything wrong. My life’s motto, ‘Everything is permissible as long as it’s not hurting anyone.’” With that said, she jogged off toward the gaping hole. As soon as she approached the opening, she screeched as the darkness swirled out of the entrance and swept her into the cave. Just as quickly, the storm was stilled.
        Having watched the three pilgrims enter the darkness, the fourth woman stood alone. She knelt down and said, “Lord, there is no goodness in me that is not of You. My life has been a series of mistakes. I have been sexually impure. I have taken Your name in vain. I have been jealous of what others owned, and I have sat in judgment of others. I am a sinner. I am standing on the promise that all who call on the name of The Lord shall be saved. Let Your light continue to shine in me.”
        Standing to her feet, she walked into the cave. Upon meeting her, the darkness fled. A startling, bright light emanated from her, reflecting precious gems which studded the walls. Looking around, she saw a path clearly marked before her.

      1. You too! I have the morning with Julie, so that’s ALWAYS good! Working today on the next installment on my DNA series. Trying to distil incredibly complex science down to something that lay people – me included! – will understand and appreciate. *whew!*

  33. That was probably the best post I have read on your page. I appreciate you sharing that story. May the Love of Jesus surround you on your journey.

  34. I was just thinkimg about this! How often do we ignore the odd stranger who is bothering us when it might just be Jesus giving us a person to help. Every time we love the forgotten and broken we are serving Jesus!

  35. I see in this post the real “Beauty Beyond Bones.”

    Earlier in my life, I have been a pathetic and not-right person. Receiving simple love like this helped me stay alive long enough to recover.

    Ironically enough, my central shortcoming is that fearful, egotistical attitude that comes out as judging, self-righteousness, and personal meanness. In order to keep my precious spiritual growth, I have had to do the right thing a few times in situations like this. While seeking any kind of reward for it negates the act, the rewards of being loving because it’s the right thing to do have been great. Enjoy them.

    1. Thank you so much for this. That’s so powerful. I’m glad you recovered. Isn’t it so awesome to know that every morning is a new day:) love is a powerful thing. Thanks for reading Hugs and love xox

  36. Loved your graphic, “Love the crap out of everything and everyone.” I’m pretty sure that’s from the Bible (paraphrased, of course!) Definitely God inspired. Thanks for sharing a great story. Keep the love on, even when it’s uncomfortable (and makes you feel guilty). You’ll always do well in life. 🙂

  37. My favorite thing about going to mass at my home church is this spunky eighty something year old lady, Mrs. Mary. I used to think she was kind of mean, and then one day, I mustered up the nerve and struck up a conversation with her. She is absolutely phenomenal! She prays the rosary out loud before EVERY mass, even daily mass. She’s pretty hip as well. In fact, she told me yesterday that she actually texts her kids and grandkids! Anyway, I look forward to mass now because, when I get there early, I get to hear Mrs. Mary’s voice. Thanks!

  38. Working in nursing homes as a nurse aid, many, many loved ones get dropped in and never visited. I worked 2nd and 3rd shift doubles. I brought in heavy duty cream for dry skin, fingernail polish, and olive oil for the African American hair. I learned how to braid hair. We’re they blessed? Maybe. I met a 105 yr old woman who worked for the CIA and a French prostitute from the times of the Nazi regime. Stories filled with heart break and wisdom. So glad you brightened his day. I have an older black woman who goes for walks and carries a chair leg to beat off stray dogs😂😂 we have awesome chats about her upbringing in Louisianna. It’s fun!!

    1. Oh that just breaks my heart. Oh my gosh it sounds like you’ve really forged beautiful relationships with these people. That’s so wonderful. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  39. What a lovely story……usually us as Christians will speak of being kind to others, but when we really get a chance to do so, if they don’t fit into our mold, most of us will shy away from them. In your post you mentioned that no one shook his hand, how awful that must have felt to him. Your act of kindness did not go unnotice by Jesus……Matthew 25:35……..” I was a stranger and you took me in.” In doing this act of kindness to this man, you also did it to Jesus.

  40. Absolutely fantastic and heartwarmimg story. Thank you for sharing
    Give a little get a lot. That’s gong to stay with me!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  41. Absolutely fantastic and heartwarmimg story. Thank you for sharing
    Give a little get a lot. That’s going to stay with me!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  42. You are such a sweetie for taking the time to talk with the older man. I work with seniors, and sometimes I am the only person they will see all day. Often their family are too busy, and they don’t want to impose themselves on anyone. Some just want a smile, an acknowledgement. This made me smile!

  43. Your story reminded me “entertaining angels unawares” as mentioned in the Bible. He touched. your heart and you touched his. You were both blessed! Thanks for sharing.

  44. I truly takes so little effort to get so much in return when it comes to loving one another. But what you have touched on goes so much deeper into the sad reality that touches all of us as we get up there in years. You really do begin to feel like you are disappearing in many ways and I think it only gets worse the older we get. You were where you were supposed to be right at that time and listened to your inner voice. And now look how many people you touched and gave insight to for deciding to simple touch someone else with the expression of Gods love that is within you. As my Dad would say, “bless your heart.🙏

    1. Thanks Connie! What a kind thing for you to say. It really hit home with me to see that man by himself. I definitely don’t doubt that we were there at the same time for a reason. 🙂 so glad you stopped by! Big hugs xox

  45. Amen, here in marion ohio we have alot of homeless and elderly who wander into our church services, it is easy to judge from appearances, but when you truly get to know them you see that they too were made in the image of God. That image stands regardless of outer wear, age, gender, or race. it is an image engraved in the heart. That interaction you had I’m sure made that man’s day and maybe even his week…

  46. Bless you for taking time to engage with this man and for seeing his humanity through the idiosyncracies of old age

  47. Hi there, I just wanted to thank you for finding and supporting my blog, but mostly to say that I think your courage is awesome, and you clearly have a big heart. I can’t say that I’m religious at all but I think the fact that such qualities are noticeably less common among non-believers is a very important one. Oh and I enjoyed this post a lot — well done! Cheers -Andrew

  48. This is such a lovely story. I’m impressed. Good delivery of it. Really love this story. Your heart, despite what you say to the contrary, is one God can work with. Have a great day.

  49. Out of all the people in the church God worked through you to talk to this man. I love it ! Your reward is much greater when you give with a full heart. I love this post!

    1. Thank you so much, Mara 🙂 what a kind thing to say. All I know is that I was truly blessed by the interaction with that man, and I’m grateful for it 🙂 I definitely think that our paths crossed on purpose 🙂 so glad you stopped by! Hope you’re having an absolutely beautiful weekend xoxoxo

  50. At one church I attended a van load of special needs folks came every Sunday. My strongest lesson from them was the way they sang lustily and joyfully… too loudly, off time and off key. But they put their hearts into it while the rest of us mumbled into our hymnals trying to be precise and correct. They were the ones who knew they were welcomed by God and worshiped in response.

  51. I love those encounters (:

    And I’ve had one or two myself–I’m not perfectly first-impressed I’ll just say that–but those moments when God just smashes all your self-taught wisdom and shows you Jesus–or yourself–in a stranger’s eyes…that’s humbling–no, knee-breaking.

    Thanks as always for sharing, Caralyn (: Happy Saturday!

    P.S.: Loved the jackfruit-eating – you’re such a character 😀

    1. Thanks Carson! Hahah oh good! Glad you liked the jackfruit! I actually just bought another one today! I had been getting so many recommendations on other ways to cook/eat it so I’m going to give it a go! And thanks for your kind reflections. You’re right-knee breaking indeed. Have. Agreat weekend! Hugs and love xox

  52. Love this! You are so right–people need that interaction and fellowship. What a wonderful feeling it is when you know you are noticed…. And especially when someone takes time to have a conversation. Without it, we die inside. I’m sure you were a huge blessing to this older gentleman.

  53. Beautiful. I think… what we are scared of, when we help an older person, a homeless person, a poor person… is… we’re not scared of “them,” we’re scared that some day that could be us. We’re scared that some day we could be old, homeless, or broke, and we don’t want to face that possibility. But if you stop, help, say hi, spare some time or change, or kindness or a laugh — then we break through that fear because guess what is greater than fear, or difference, or hardship or difficulty or pain or misunderstanding? Connection. Hope. Faith. Interaction. I’ve seen too much of it to doubt it any more. It’s amazing what you’ll see, find, discover, encounter when you stop to share time with someone else.

  54. What a beautiful story. I’m glad you were able to help each other in that place and time. I’m secretly hoping he’ll scoot in next to you the next time you go to that church 🙂

      1. Only to church though. The other six days he wore jeans and one of his two identical tan shirts 😉

  55. This is really great!

    I’m reminded of a time in pastor training when I was a hospital chaplain. I’d been called to the floors to visit a ‘difficult patient’ and when I arrived elderly gentleman’s first comment to me was to shout, “Who the eff are you!” This wasn’t going to be fun.

    For some reason I didn’t bail and after a long, and occasionally arduous, conversation it turns out that because of age and hearing difficulties he didn’t really know what was going on with his care. Which caused a lot of fear on his part which manifested as anger. Which of course made everyone leave as soon as they’d finished whatever task they’d come in for. Which left him not really knowing what was going on in his care. You see where this is going.

    After medical staff understood what was happening they took great care to slow down and trying to keep him informed. Things improved, at least in the short term though I don’t know what ultimately happened.

    A couple of minutes can mean a lifetime. Well done and thank you for reaching out!

    1. Wow what a powerful story. I can’t imagine being left in the dark, unaware of my treatment plan was. Poor guy. What an impact you had on him and his quality of life:) thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

  56. So lovely. It reminds me so much of my grandfather… 🙂 He is a character but so kind and always trying to make everyone around him laugh. Thank you for sharing this amazing story 🙂 Vicky x

  57. The truth, dear lady, is that what goes around has an uncanny proclivity of coming around. Your kindheartedness connected you to a needy, nice old guy. It takes a Beauty Beyond the Bones one like you to make it happen. Who’s next on the queue to spread warmness of friendship, especially to a needy one?

  58. Loved reading your story. I had a similar story yesterday at the home show. I was presenting and someone asked me a really basic question and i jumped to conclusions thinking what a dumb question, got to know the person and actually got them up later on a different presso to help me out. Would love to talk with you more

  59. When we take even just a bit of time for another we are often rewarded with a great blessing. Everyone likes to feel needed and cared for. Those we wish to ignore are many times the ones most hungry for the attention (as well as the ones who have the most to give).

  60. That was awesome everyone’s our neighbor. Hey praise God for sending him to you because I believe God uses everybody for his kingdom. You blessed that man and got a blessing from him. Thanks for sharing. You are God’s special one.

  61. I really think Carolyn (?) that the intergenerational nature of the church is something that needs to be strengthened. I find it so with my 92 year old mother. She enthralls younger adults with her stories of growing up before, through, during, and after the depression…and of her faith. Thank you and blessings!

    Jim

  62. I could easily see myself in your position, and would no doubt have had the same reaction. I’m marginally better than I used to be with older people than I used to be. But kudos to you for listening to a gentle whisper, a still small voice, and to engage. For whatsoever you do for the least, you do for Him. And perhaps You were the connection he needed that day. I suspect you were.
    Hugs 🙂

  63. Hi Caralyn…I had to chuckle when I read this post. My next door neighbor is a 90 year old man who has never had much social awareness. To be honest, I sometimes avoid conversations with him over the fence because he will talk forevvvvvvveerrrrr (and no obvious nonverbals can discourage him…believe me I’ve tried!). I had not seen him outside for awhile and I found out from his daughter that he fell down leaving the house to play cards with his buddies (he didn’t want to be late…cue irony). He broke his kneecap in two and was off his feet for six weeks. His lawn was getting long so I decided to mow his when I mowed mine (Pious St. Thomas the Aldrich…cue angelic choirs). I was feeling less inspired after the sixth time mowing when his daughter came over and thanked me for helping. Feeling pretty good about myself, she then shared with me how in his eighties her dad was mowing 18 lawns per week for all the widows in the area…for free. Humble pie in my face. My entire perspective on my “sacrifice” and the simple love of an old man seen in quiet service humbled my heart and adjusted my attitude. This simple old man loves like Jesus. He doesn’t speak like Him..hahaha…but his life is preaching to me! Blessings gifted young lady!!

    St. Tom

  64. I love this! I took care of my grandfather for 9 years and I learned so much! You begin to see age in such a different light and it affects the way you see and treat everyone around us. There is a reason God says ageing is a good thing lol. Thanks for posting1

    1. Aw thank you For this beautiful relation. You’re right – there is something so powerful to learn from everyone we meet, no matter what age. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  65. As human beings, we all need to be more intentional with our interactions with the elderly and we need to teach our children that as well. I was raised with several generations in one house, but that’s not the norm with most American families. Sometimes a smile and a simple “hello” is all it takes to start a conversation. Bless you for recognizing his need for human interaction!!

  66. I really need to thank you for dropping by my blog and hitting the like button for one of the posts there..that’s how I got the opportunity to come across this wonderful blog of yours! Have fallen in love with it, this definitely is one of my favorite blogs out there.. Keep writing! 🙂

  67. This truly touched me. I had a similar experience the other day. I wasn’t at church and it wasn’t with a sweet old man, but it was with a person many would deem an undesirable. I think it’s so important to help people often, even it’s just a kind word. You have inspired me to continue speaking with those in our society that we tend to forget.

    1. Hi Ms Allen! Oh thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad it resonated with you! You’re right. You never know what a kind word will do! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

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