“These old fogy visitors need to go home!” Carlie complained about the seasonal visitors to her mother as she battled for a place on six lanes of highway heading to her destination in the heavy metro traffic. “A turtle could outrun and outmaneuver that one! Just look at the way they drive! They need to get off the roads when the rest of us are trying to get someplace! Just look at that! Bet they can’t see for their cataracts!”
Her mother, Patty, turned her head to look. “Which old fogy is bugging you so?”
Carlie pointed to a gas-saving economy car piloted by a bespectacled, grey-haired driver.
That’s when Patty’s mouth dropped in astonishment. “Old fogy? Honey, those people are younger than I am! I’m a senior, too.”
Her daughter was speechless. She stammered to redeem herself, “But Mom, you’re not like them! You drive faster! You have great hobbies! You travel! You’re a granny extraordinaire!”
Grandma Patty couldn’t help but think that love and shared experiences colored her daughter’s idea of her own age and usefulness. But the old fogies crowding the byways are somebody’s fabulous grandparents, too.
In Jesus’ time and culture, many felt that others didn’t deserve compassion and kindness, such as the old fogies in with everyone else who were hungry at the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus looked on the crippled, ill, blind, disabled, and unemployable, had compassion and healed them. His words and assurance of care—still with us now—bring hope, healing, and relief to the innermost being. We are loved!
Just as love and compassion colored Carlie’s view of her mother, Jesus showed us that love is the key to make strangers into friends. Jesus stated the most important commandment is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:29-30].
If Jesus made room in his heart and mind for old fogies in his time who didn’t drive, we can do so in ours. It’s worth it. Love can change of one heart at a time in the world and make it a better place.
[For your information, Jo Russell is a bespectacled old fogy, too, who doesn’t drive as fast as metro residents when she travels to new places or when the GPS is acting up.]
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]