Monday, August 17, 2009
Remembering Snowdye and Elsa
When I became a pastor in Sun Lakes 7 years ago, I was making a commitment to care for aging people. Our modern culture currently neglects the elderly, unlike previous and I believe healthier times spiritually. Two of the most interesting characters I came to know are Snowdye, who passed away today, and Elsa, who died about 2 years ago.
Elsa had a Swedish heritage, had no children, and loved animals. She was very demonstrative to others in the church, which frankly bothered some. No mere hugger, Elsa approached from 10 ft away with arms outstretched and made a real theatrical experience of it. Snowdey was an appalachian girl from the hills of Kentucky, both loved animals, both skinny as rails, but there the differences ended. They supported each other and spent lots of time together and occasionally frustrated each other. Both never missed my Bible studies and church.
Here is where the difference ends. Elsa could sit at home and admire her things and be totally happy. Snowdey was always depressed, always wondering why her life was not working, always bored, always looking for something to give her life meaning. So many of our ladies prayed for her and worked with her and practiced unconditional love and patience. Sometimes she seemed to respond, but not for long, then came dementia, and today, thankfully, release from this long life. I believe with all my heart God welcomed these women from totally differenct backgrouds into His presence.
Today I spoke briefly but meaningfully with her daughter, had some very pointed questions, which I will not share, to help me understand this complex women. Elderly widows face long and too often lonely lives. Some people get more and more isolated as the years pass. I end my thoughts with just one enigmatic encouragement for us all. God is not mocked, we reap what we sow. Sow love, sow caring, sow kindness, sow into your family, sow into your friends, sow into your hobbies, sow into your church.
I thank God for every remembrance of these ladies.