Not Finished

2 comments Posted on August 30, 2016

Eleanor Gustafsonby Eleanor Gustafson

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.

D. smallLast 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.
Twitter: @EgusEllie
Facebook: Ellie Gustafson


  • 09/02/2016
    Marcia Jobe said:

    Hi Ellie! I think I’m looking ahead and practicing for praising in heaven:

    “Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior!” (Hab. 3:17,18)

    Never mind that I never had grapes, sheep or cattle, I’ve always tried to be prepared whatever might come. When I was 10 I learned to escape from my bedroom window and drop to the ground, in case marauders might kidnap the rest of the family, and to sit in the snow until mostly frozen in preparation for the next Ice Age.

    I didn’t know you can’t really prepare for being old, but no matter what, I plan to go out praising God, just because of Who He Is.

  • 09/02/2016
    Richard Collins said:

    My life is moving swiftly over the horizon and vicissitudes lick mercilessly at my heels. Saddened at times as the evil one buffets me about my love for Jesus keeps anger at bay. The last thing I want on the way out is to be cynical, nasty and vindictive. Emulating Christ in my dealings with others is my principal goal as I move towards the finish line. As a fallen being I fall short now and then but my objective is far clearer than in my days of youthful ignorance. Daily prayer, scriptural readings and meditation grease the skids and so but for the grace of God go I.


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