By Debra Whittington: QCS columnist
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34
A dear friend of mine was having a particularly difficult day because they felt forgotten by their family who rarely comes by to visit or even take the time to call and check on them. This isn’t anything new as their comments inspired me to write a column on their dilemma several years ago. While visiting with them today, this column came to mind and I searched through my files until I found it once again.
I want to share a portion of this column again as my friend isn’t the only elderly person who is forgotten by their family. Our world is full of people who feel as though they are forgotten by the rest of the world.
I am sure all of us know someone who would love to have a visit or even a phone call once in a while.
While I was reading through this, the Lord convincedmy heart that I need to be more available to some people and take time to spend with them. Words written years ago are as important or even more important today as they were then. The following is what I had to say on the subject of treating people like antiques.
A friend of mine recently made a statement, which has stuck in my mind and made me think. Some of their family came by during the holidays but on Christmas Day they spent the day alone. “I feel like an antique which is taken off of the shelf from time to time, dusted off and looked at and then put back on the shelf.” they said.
While my friend isn’t that old, their statement made me think of elderly people. They could be considered antiques.
What is an antique and how should it be treated? An antique is an item of age which has value. It is something which has served a purpose in years past.
Due to its age it may not be able to be used on a daily basis but can still bring pleasure to its owner who views it often. It has helped its owner in some way or was special because of its sentimental value.
Some antiques have been broken and mended but are too precious to discard.
However, there are many antiques which are placed in an attic or drawer some place and have long been forgotten. Even more tragic are the antiques which are left out in the weather to rot or discarded in the trash.
Some older people feel they have outlived their usefulness, but still bring joy to their families.
They have a wisdom which has been refined through years of living. Their mere presence brings joy. Their sentimental value to their loved ones is priceless in terms of words of encouragement they give. Memories of years of helping and giving to their families only adds to their value.
There are elderly people who live in broken bodies which are fragile and need special care. Their condition makes them even more valuable as they continue to live with their disabilities on a daily basis without giving up.
Have some of our older family members become forgotten or discarded antiques? When the mood strikes us or if we have spare time we may visit them. During holidays or special family get togethers they become the center of attention and then are forgotten until the next time. I pray we will all try to spend more time with elderly family members and friends. Let’s let them know how precious they are often so they won’t need to be “dusted off.”
I look back now at these words and think once again about these forgotten people. While the holidays can be a lonely time, every day can be just as lonesome.
We need to remember how much Jesus loves us and spread that love around. The Apostle John had much to say on the subject. In 1 John 4:10-12 he wrote, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
God commanded us to love one another. Now the question before us is how we will show that love toward others. Who do you need to call or go visit today?