Be Still Know
Isaiah 46:4 NLT
‘I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.’
Ageing is something we all face. Yet, many of our anxieties come from our inability to face its challenges. They creep up on us and we are ill-prepared to face them. Most importantly, it’s essential to have come to terms with our own mortality. So many live as though death were a distant possibility rather than an ever-closer certainty.
With age comes an increased experience of loneliness. With increased numbers of divorcees and the likelihood of the death of a partner, 36% of the population aged 65+ live alone. There’s growing evidence of our need for social relationships. Without these we suffer both mentally and physically through the exposure of multiple body systems to excess amounts of stress hormones. Over time, such unmet social needs take a serious toll on health, eroding our arteries, creating high blood pressure, and even undermining learning and memory.
Close to one in ten older people feel trapped in their own home. Career or the cost of living may have placed geographical distance between ageing relatives and their family. According to a survey in December 2014, 2.9 million older people (65+) in Great Britain feel they have no one to turn to for help and support.
QUESTION: How well are you facing ageing for yourself and for family members? What of those ageing across your neighbourhood? Is the Church able to offer a point of contact to introduce lonely people to one another once a week?
NOVENA PRAYER: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I pray for the aged who surround me. I thank you for their experience and wisdom. I pray as they face loneliness I might open my eyes to see them and offer a smile and word of encouragement when I pass them in the street. I ask that my church might develop a social space where they might enjoy social interaction and we might use our knowledge and skills to re-establish family relationships through the medium of technology.