Elders, and the Blessing

This writing I produced exactly 2 years ago today. This “forgotten” writing popped up randomly as i reflected in the loss of my uncle today. A man in his 80’s who is survived by his wife, 2 daughters, 2 son-in-laws, and 5 grandchildren. He lived a full life…starting out being a strong man. As we age there is often a tenderness that comes out that is almost unexplainable. I am happy to say my uncle knew The Lord, as I ponder his life and his future.

During this Feast of Tabernacles there is comfort in knowing the Joy of the season. The Blessings we receive from our Heavenly Father. As we proceed I think of our elders; the lives they lived and the Blessings they also need to be imparted with. As well as the love and care they deserve. A listening ear, a caring word, a gentle touch, and great care. The amazing part is, the experience that comes from what they say and share. All the years on the earth; the pain, tears, joy, love, laughter, experience puts them in a unique position to be powerful. A Blessing from an elder is a special thing. An interaction and momentary communion embraces the unity in the Holy Spirit. Our life is but a blink of an eye…yet the impact can last lifetimes and generations.
Dedicated to my uncle…Mon Oncle Edgar Arcand (10/14/14)
Dedicated to Frank (an elderly church member that past on the first day of Sukkot 10/09/14)
Dedicated to those who Bless others.
Stop thinking of your lack and how others could Bless you…and start thinking how you can be a Blessing to someone else. It is a choice. A choice, one way or the other, that has a consequence. An opportunity, or a missed one.

So today served as a great example for myself. So simple a circumstance, yet the simplicity of the situation created the greatest lesson and reward.

I took my daughter into a Subway to buy her a sandwich; a late lunch. I had already eaten, we were out and about, and needed to get her something easy, cheap, and somewhat healthy. Upon walking into the shop, I had a lot on my mind; personal stuff, deep stuff. Love, finances, family, stress, desires, lack, future, and past. The crisp, cold, and sunny autumn day, lended itself to the retrospective, reflective, and meditative state I was in. I was pondering my life, and its relationships, and the needs that are not being met. I had a somber, mildly self piteous notion about me. Certainly I was not lacking in gratefulness, but was rightly questioning life’s circumstances that were presently in my face, on my heart. Guilty, of course, of allowing emotion to capture my attention.

Now that I’ve set the tone in order to show the filter that my eyes and heart sense through, let me begin.

An old man sat the front window of the sandwich shop. I noticed him even before entering, as if he had something to do with me. As if he should know me and wanted to Bless me. A grandfather type, and yet even more. Ya know, like the old frail man that is really an angel in disguise. In my need, in my moment, I imagined him sensing everything I was going through; that no one else can see just by looking at the outward me. The me that no one knows but me. There was a moment, upon entering the shop, I peripherally could tell that his eyes had scanned and read me. And so I thought maybe this is my moment. He will answer a call. I will sit with my daughter and while she eats he will walk over and hand me all the money he has been saving, the money he has nothing to do with. Somehow that he has found the girl to betroth it to. He knew the burdens I’ve bared. After all, his life is toward its end. His life, as appeared on the outside, was quite simple. In fact he preferred it that way. His life, in a fantastical sense, was to Bless me.

As my girls sandwich was being eaten, as her chocolate milk was being drank, I noticed he got up from his seat. My daughter and I had only sat about 10 feet away from him, perhaps he was coming toward my table. He walked parallel instead, toward the cashier, but not quite. Briefly, he was slowly and aimlessly pacing, while pulling up his oversize pants. His big, bulging, yet sunken eyes peered outside, as if he longed and wondered for something. I thought, “is he looking for his keys?”. Just then I heard the Sandwich Makers call him by name. “Leo”, I believe it was, “they said 20 more minutes, there’s two people in front of you”. Then it dawned on me…taxi. He sat back down accepting the inevitable wait. He was quiet and tender, yet a world of masculinity and strength past. A vision of patience in impatient world.

As her sandwich was ending…well, I actually took the last bite…he stood again. I had forgotten about the money I needed, the love I long for, and the peace I need. Now a brand new thought popped in my head…”where is he going?”. After a minor debate in my head, the love and needs within turned outward to him. I asked the question…and it was a choice, to open my mouth with the words “where are you going?”. I did it, after of course the split-second discernment whether it was safe to involve this man around my daughter. I knew I was good. After he answered me, I asked the next question. The big one, that would complete the choice… “do you want a ride?”. He said, “are you done eating?”. “Yeah we are”, I said. His response, with a sense of relief, “yeah”.

We immediately exited the shop and walked toward my car. I told him, “I know how it is to wait for a taxi”. He told me he lost his card two months prior; his condition affecting his ability to drive. Only in his eighties, but nevertheless his situation, He has a wife, at the Manor, and that he resides with. She stays home, as her legs are bad and swollen. He was in Vietnam, mentioned as he shares dates and such. He says we’re in trouble if Romney wins. He uses some of the food stamps that Romney wants to cut. Toward the end of the ride he said he’s a Christian. A lot to learn in a less than 5 minute car ride. But for me the clincher was when he said he was a Christian. It was a sign to me, simply, that his faith came up. A sign, because when he came in my car I intended on somehow incorporating a “God bless you” or some derivative of that before his departure; as I was feeling the call to Bless.

As we were entering his driveway he began to fiddle with a couple bags he had placed by his feet, and he says…”well, may God Bless you greatly for what you have done”. I told him how much that meant to me, because of how strong I believe. As I’m pulling closer to the door of the Manor, he briefly mentions the Baptist Church he attends as well as his Pastor’s name. In response and camaraderie, I mention the current Assembly of God church I attended. He thought it was cool, and added something more that I appreciated. He insinuated his open-mindedness toward various denominations, but that he doesn’t care for the “priest thing”. I concurred and said “we’re supposed to have a personal relationship with God (as I pointed up and down from us in the car to heaven) and not have a middle man”. He agreed. Our conversation was over.
Before exiting the car he Blessed me again…saying, “may God bless you, and may everything work out for you”. I said, “aww, that means so much”. As he positioned himself to get out of the car I said, “may God bless you also…and the best for you and your wife.

I don’t think we made eye contact once in the car, now that I think about it. However, we greatly impacted one another. He Blessed me, and I Blessed him. The power of his Blessing is unreal. And since the Lord (Jehovah Jireh) is my provider, he actually gave me more than if he handed me a $50,000 check. God knows exactly what I need and desire. What this man declared and decreed opened the portals. What we bind on earth is bound in heaven, what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. Ministering Spirits were present to listen and will follow through. By being obedient to the call of a need to another, by listening to that voice, that beckon; I opened the true door to Blessing. And in the process, I became a blessing to someone else.

Praise be to God for how God works. And now, if the story is a Blessing to you the reader, how much greater is our God? It is a choice to be a Blessing to those around us.
Blessing begets Blessing.
Faith is what powers it.
Action and Words is Faith in motion.

-written 10/14/2012


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