I attended a graduation party recently and found myself seated next to a 52 years old social worker. She is widow; her husband died young and she never remarried. She says she is a believer in Jesus Christ and does not attend any church or Bible study and the like. She was positive, engaging, and animated. She was a very interesting woman.
Her work is primarily with older people. She loves the older people but she doesn’t like their kids; the older people’s kids are baby boomers. I asked her why and she said older people today help one another but she fears that the baby boomers will carry their “me only,” “I only worry about myself”and “to hell with the rest of you” attitude into old age.
The most generous old people are the poorest ones; they are very generous with the little that they have, she told me. Richer people are not as generous and look down on those “below” them. “They never ask for help from those who they consider to be of lower economic status,” she observed.
She told me to tell my “baby boomer” friends that the joy ride is over. As we age we will see costs rise and services being cut. She is at the end of the baby boomer age herself and says looking forward is not a pretty picture.
I asked if the church could help. She laughed. “The last place I’d ask for help would be the church;” a stinging rebuke. Most churches have an inward focus (if it has any focus) and the churches today seem to have no or little outward focus, she commented.
When I asked her what I had to look forward to in the nursing home she said, “Be prepared to be alone, in our generation other patients will probably not help.” She has noticed the nurses, men and women lack compassion. “Tell me something positive,” I said. She told me the young nurses coming in seem to be different from the 30-50 year old nurses. The new younger nurses are more kind and compassionate than the previous generation. Good news for a growing old man.
As I reflected on all she said, I said to myself, what a sad example my generation has become. It angers me when she slams Christ’s church. Sadly much of what she said is true. I guess we will sit in our own drivel and waste away. No one else will care and neither will we.
How do we as Christians respond? Jesus says, “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). Remember God’s promise in these days—The Lord is with us.