A Tremendous Gift
My favored flowers are not those
without a blemish
but ones that survive the prairie
in triple digit heat of mid-summer.
My eyes are less drawn to the newly
planted sapling than
the old cottonwood that has a bare
trunk where lightning struck several times.
Although our sweet puppy is pampered,
pets that are stroked smooth
like this Winnie the Pooh bear
have only sweet love left to give.
While I love humans of all ages
there are those with eight,
nine, or ten decades of life who
still see it as a tremendous gift.
These conversations are magnificent
balms to my soul.
Colossians 1:3-8 (CEB)
We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. We’ve done this since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all God’s people. You have this faith and love because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You previously heard about this hope through the true message, the good news, which has come to you. This message has been bearing fruit and growing among you since the day you heard and truly understood God’s grace, in the same way that it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world. You learned it from Epaphras, who is the fellow slave we love and Christ’s faithful minister for your sake. He informed us of your love in the Spirit.
Learning from the Silent Generation
I grew up in a family in which the elders didn’t speak of the old country or even their childhoods. Besides, youngsters did not need to be coaxed to go outside to play with the multitude of cousins. We had a blast checking out the barn, pasture, or alleyways while the men played horseshoes and gulped beer on a hot day. Kids would come when the women hollered, “dinner’s on!” Long tables were laden with homemade pies, Jell-O salads, fried chicken, and creamy sliced cukes and tomatoes.
Because we heard few stories from the generation who would now be in their 100’s, it is little wonder that I treasure visits with people whose stories intersect with those of my parents. The folks who were named the “Silent Generation” rarely grumble. As stories are shared, I recognize how their lives were purposeful even as youngsters, because everyone was needed. Most people aren’t trying to impart wisdom but end up doing so unintentionally. Their lifelong values were learned in communities of home, school, and church. They are guides for doing what needs to be done without complaining while valuing faith in God and relationships. Listen again to the words the apostle Paul says to the Colossians:
Colossians 9:9-12 Since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; by being strengthened through his glorious might so that you endure everything and have patience; and by giving thanks with joy to the Father.
We pray that throughout life you will grow in spiritual understanding and knowledge.
You and all of creation are loved.
Rev. Marta Wheeler
To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here: Devotional MW 2022-07-06