Beloved children’s author Shel Silverstein penned the following:
The Little Boy and the Old Man
Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the little old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.
Some people have uncommon wisdom. They just know the right thing to do, regardless of the consequence to themselves. Jim and Kelli Hulsizer are two such people. Young, bright, well-educated and prepped to move forward in life and career, they set aside lucrative job opportunities and moved across the country to care for an ill and aging relative. While this may seem expected from some who believe in caring for those family members who raised them, this relative was distant and had very little connection with the young couple. However, because of their love for the Lord and their belief that God calls us to care for our families, especially the aged, they chose to care for this man until his death some years later.
In a world where youth and beauty and success are prized above all other assets, this couple’s actions seem more than counter-cultural. They appear foolish. But the words of Paul express otherwise. “But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” 1 Corinthians 1: 27- 29
Scripture is full of exhortations to respect those who are older, to treat them with honor and respect, and to care for widows as if they were the readers’ own mothers. Genesis 1:27 reads, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Nothing is mentioned about age, physical appearance or ability. We’re simply God’s creation, made in His image and we are to care for each other in all stages of life.
 The Little Boy and the Old Man, printed in A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. Harper and Row Publishers, 1981.
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The next time you have the opportunity to pay attention to individuals whom society might consider “on the fringe” or even “expendable,” embrace the moment and remember that they, too, reflect the very image of God.
Encouraging Parents…Building Families
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