Therefore we do not lose heart
Apologies if this seems a little personal. I have reflected much over the past few months. I’m sure I have this in common with many who may have different perspectives than those with which we entered 2020.
During this time I have been caring for my mother who fell and broke her femur just as lockdown started. She then contracted Covid while in hospital. We have spent precious time together from which I have gained insights into what is like to be old. Pain and sickness can seem insurmountable, hope of relief faint, bewilderment as to what the future might hold overwhelming. Time has very different boundaries to the elderly. A silent, pain ridden, sleep deprived night is an eternity, just as an afternoon of dozing can make hours disappear. However memories rise up as a salve to soothe the intervals. Those remembered people, events and beautiful places have kept my Mother hopeful; she uses them like a library to nourish her limited existence. I have huge respect for her and her friends with whom she has jolly, but realistic conversations about their currently confined lives. Despite ailments, family concerns and worries about where they may end up, their conviction that "All will be well" keeps morale raised.
As in 2 Corinthians 4:6 ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day'.
Mum has lovingly tended a beautiful garden for over 60 years which she is no longer able to. Without her clipping, pruning and tying back the plants are becoming more natural in their shapes, intermingling with one another. There are wonderful collisions of colour and texture in the self sown campanulas, poppies and sweet peas. Flox flop over wild strawberries and clematis clambers over a fallen apple tree. The garden’s manicured appearance has become one of relaxed beauty. The wild life is enjoying the luxuriousness. At dusk a young fox peered in at the window, blackbirds dig up the lawn and pigeons splash in the crumbling birdbath.
Perhaps this is a metaphor for how old age is best approached, with an acceptance of God’s hand in the progression of nature, Psalm 92:14 “ They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay forever fresh and green’