Proverbs 16:31 says “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”
I love that word, hoary. It is fun to say and throw around because most people don’t know what you just said! It means white or gray with age. I love teasing my Dad about his hoary head. I think I am getting a few hoaries of my own!
Today I was listening to an interview with Anne Ortlund. She is the author of the book, Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman. She is 86 years old. She was married for 61 years to her husband Ray and has now been a widow for three years. I did not know this but her husband was the founder of the radio program “Haven of Rest.” Growing up, I heard that program on my parent’s radio many times. I can still hear the sound of the waves and the sea gulls that sounded as the program came on, followed by the the men’s quartet singing, “I’ve anchored my soul in the haven of rest…” Anne shared this sweet story about her own parents; they trusted Christ as their Savior when she was six years old. And their life changed. They began reading the Bible and praying with their children and had family devotions every night. (Now that’s a long lost habit.) They now have 122 descendants who all, except for the babies, walk strongly with the Lord! What an awesome testimony and what a worthy goal to have if you are just beginning your family.
Another thing that struck me in the interview was the story of a 90 year old woman. Her mobility is quite limited now, but she prays. Anne made this comment, “these are probably her most powerful years!” Wow!
It made me think of all the hoary headed people I am blessed to have in my life, and I am thankful for them. My parents would top the list to be sure. And my mother-in-law, though she is a young thing yet, only 70ish! I think of Elisabeth Elliot and other great missionaries who I might only know through a book. I think of the senior saints in my church family. Wally likes to go to the buffet with some of them on Sundays. I don’t know if that kind of thing interests you but it is great fun! I think they like Wally because he talks so loud and they can hear him! I was always glad to watch an older gentlemen in our church talk with the college aged kids when they came home on vacation. You could be sure he would be praying for them when they returned to school. He has done that for my own kids through the years. I attend church with the wife of my Pastor from when I was a little girl! And another woman whose daughter was in the youth group with me. That is a lot of years of fellowship with one another! Some of our church family are now entering that stage of immobility, and it leaves an evident hole in that place where they have faithfully sat and worshipped for years. What a witness that is in itself.
Just think of the older folks in your own life. They have a lifetime of experiences to share and to learn from. They have shown by example, their faithfulness, their commitment, their convictions and how they hold to the truths of God’s Word. What a gift and great blessing!
I also had this last thought. I should thank them and let them know just how blessed I am to have them in my life!