Monday, August 11, 2008
"Be gentle with the old people!" ?
Last night we had a meeting looking at a new project we want to run. I was pleased to see one man there, in his late 80's he had come out to consider it. He is a man I love like my own father and deeply respect. As we talked about the project he asked us to "Be gentle with the old people!" That the changes I had already made over the last 20 years were already stretching their patience, and after all they had got us where we are. I listened in love, I really did. But in the middle of the night I began to ache and rage. For twenty years I have stood up for patience with the old people! I have argued with good younger folk, pleading for them to be patient with older folk only to see the young ones disappear. One big regret I have is that I have shied away from conflict and confrontation and been gentle with the old people, hoping that in time they would get on board. I feel like I have let down a whole heap of younger folk, pleading for patience. We are out of date in many aspects of our worship and archaic in our concept of the church. I feel like I have wasted 20 years of my life being gentle with old people! But I love and respect this man? How do I cope with it?
We are allowed to go ahead with our project, but in some ways it's grudging and barely warm support. There was one young mum there, wrapped, enthused and busting to get into it. Bless her, she gave us a glimmer of hope... I hope they don't squeeze her creativity and passion out of her. It is so hard to keep it burning bright some times.
I fed the goats and hens this morning talking to them as I did. I collected the eggs and split wood. My dog and I and God went up my mountain this afternoon. It had lovely bright snow on it with sun shining through the bush making it a real delight. It was a special time of re-energizing and dreaming. I am physically exhausted now, but nearly ready to face another week of my weird journey.