Sunday, September 18, 2011


I always enjoy pictures which illustrate how tricky our perceptions can be. This picture depicting both an old woman and a young woman depending on your perception is a favorite.

(For those who are wondering: The young woman is seen if you perceive a necklace and her chin angled so she looks away from you. The old woman is perceived if you see instead of a chin, a nose and the necklace as her mouth as she is looking down into her shawl.)

Friday I had my perception tested yet again. Rushing around the mall in search of dresses for my daughter and me for an upcoming wedding, I paused to grab lunch at a nearby Panera. While wolfing down my salad, I kept noticing an elderly lady sitting nearby eating alone. Her walker was stationed across from her with her giant purse in the seat, almost like another guest keeping her company.

I kept waiting to see where her son, daughter, caregiver was. Surely she was not alone? (Funny, how when seeing a child or an elderly person eating alone, we worry just as much, or should.)

As I rose to put away my trash, she struggled to rise with her tray. I asked her if I could help. She smiled and thanked me.

The she announced, "I am twice your age, so I appreciate your help."

I laughed thinking she was kidding.

She was not.

It would be unusual to meet someone twice my age these days, and while she wasn't quite that old, she was not extremely far off.

As we talked, Edith revealed she was 98!

The funny part was that she told me when she hit 95, she realized she really wasn't that old after all. There were a lot of things older in this world.

I was fascinated with Edith. You see, I have been feeling "old" lately, almost like life was passing me by, and I have nothing left to offer.

Retiring to care for my aging parents, I had a purpose. Now with their deaths, I find myself unable to get back into the job market. I feel somewhat useless.

Oh, I keep myself busy with volunteer work, Bible studies, blogging, taxiing my daughter to lessons and games, but it is not the same.

As Edith shared her story, I realized how wrong I have been. I am NOT old. It is my perception that has been wrong.

Time to snap out of it! Sieze the day! Be Edith!

God tells us in the Bible in a different way when He admonishes us to think on whatsoever things are lovely and of good report as well as to love others. This means I focus on the good in today and seek how I can serve those I encounter in my daily work, my in between times of life.

Next time I go to the mall, you know whom I will be seeking, Edith. Her son drops her off at the mall once a month. Dressed in her finery, Edith finds a spot in the restaurant, eats her meal, watches folks come and go, and strikes up a conversation throughout the day with those who notice her and take interest and time. If they do, they walk out of the mall richer than when they came.

May I, like Edith, bless those I encounter today in my "youth."

For His Glory,

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