I’m moving toward old—shedding abilities and talents like leaves in the fall. Started out as a music major but now can barely play the piano. Even singing is a challenge. And last time I was on a horse, I needed a derrick to get me on and off. I creak in the garden, and getting out of bed requires thought and determination.
BUT—God in His wisdom gave me an unexpected job. I, a dedicated loner who spurned Girl Scouts, teen cliques and party adults, have become a relater. At church, I serve as a greeter beyond the doors, on the prowl for newcomers and marginalized people, giving hugs and encouragement as needed. I wasn’t asked to do that; I simply put on the cloak God handed me.
Relating also spills into my computer/writing work. Emails come—friends, missionaries, prayer needs, author acquaintances. I listen, laugh, pray, weep as needed. The work part does or doesn’t get finished, but maybe that’s peripheral to my real job. Email me if you need a virtual hug.
Last night, I happened on a bunch of men at church. We joked and batted shoulders, but when I left, I heard missionary Carlos talking about me. “When I go to Rus Rus, I know Ellie’s got my back.” What higher praise can an old lady get?
I’m practicing for relating in heaven.
Don’t feel bad for me. Creaky, yes, but I can still climb stairs two at a time and walk three miles easily. Not finished yet!
Eleanor Gustafson was born in a NJ county that had more cows than people. She is a graduate of Wheaton College, wife, mother of three and grandmother of eight. She tried the cloak of writing and found it fit well. www.eleanorgustafson.com
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