The time will come in your life, it will almost certainly come, when the voice of God will thunder at you from a cloud: “from this day forth you shall not be able to put on thine own socks.” John Mortimer
Alice's adventures in wonderland
In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God: God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised. With my own eyes I've seen your salvation; it's now out in the open for everyone to see (Luke 2:25-31)
I hope overseriousness will disappear and an appreciation of the absurd take over. What games I play, what campaigns I fight, what disciplines I champion. What motivations am I blind to and self-justifications am I deaf to? As a 10 year old I was desperate to buy this red fluffy thingy whose features and qualities, not surprisingly, escape me now. When I finally got my hands on it, I saw it through different eyes, gawped and wondered, What was I thinking of! I love Rembrandt’s painting of this very old man and old woman (presumably Anna) with the baby Jesus. There is a marked contrast in age but I am also drawn to their likeness – a narrowness or constriction of life or maybe a less encumbered and encrusted. Both can seem absurd at times yet may also see things very clearly and simply - faith sparkling like a crystal?
The clear-sightedness of old age
Simeon’s antennae seems acute here, his looking and waiting slicing through his day and life. He has finally seen what he has truly waited for. I ponder whether what’s important to me now. Is it going to seem as important later? Might the consideration of this elderly stage of life help me locate and sift true and real value? Might growing old help me see things honestly, as they are, ‘out in the open’?