Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old Folks

I read in the Houston Chronicle today that the young tech-savvy people who helped President Obama get elected were uninterested (and, therefore, not helping) him with the health care initiative he was proposing. This is not about Conservative/Liberal or even politics or the president. This is about people.


When working as a chaplain and being assigned to mostly emergencies and deaths, I noticed a strange phenomenon. Severe illness or death of a child was considered tragic. The same for an old person was not. I thought both were tragic. Life at both ends of the spectrum has value. We live in a culture obsessed with youth and forgetful of elders.


People would tell me that a child will never reached his or her potential. True. But some who start out cute become members of East Los Angeles gangs or suicide bombers. I knew, too, that some who died in old age sent 5 kids through college without a high school diploma or a husband. Some were doctors who treated people for free. Some were inventors. Some people sue potential. Some waste it. But ALL have it. It is called the Image of God.


Sentimentality views people by how they make us feel. It is mainly based on externals. Babies are cute. Older people often need more attention. They have their own ideas. Where we should be looking, however, is not at our feelings but the soul of the person. Regardless of external appeal or lack thereof, Christ is resident in everyone.


When Paul says that there is neither "Jew nor Greek, male nor female…," what I think he is saying is that at the heart of it, we all bear the stamp of Christ. At the heart of it, we are all the same. And that same is inherently lovable.


Ask yourself how you view people today. Those in your family. Those at work or school. Those on TV. Those who say things you like. Those who say things you hate. You are looking at Christ.

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