I find that age has a singular potential benefit. It is never automatic, however with age one has the potential to see what others find difficult to see. It is as if age gives one the opportunity to see from a perspective that youth does not allow. Even the barriers of impossibility, not being acceptable, or sitting just beyond one’s comprehension are flexible. The insight is never automatic. Age brings a stubbornness that can be hard to move beyond and even difficult to live with. Yet, when the willingness is there, an elder sees what others cannot.
The ability to see is a gift many try to avoid. Life unfolds with more intensity than one expects. The highs are higher, the lows lower. Tragedies explode in ways you never anticipate. In the past twenty-four hours, I have found myself stunned in pained silence as a city near my childhood home has been inundated in gunfire, death, and heart wrenching sadness. I can sense what this means to the city and the country. I can see how part of the future is on a different path. The vision is forever altered; what remained of innocence is now gone.
In the midst of the tears, thanksgiving, and confusion, I find pools of hope. It is a story that has repeated itself again and then again over time. Centuries ago, when one small group lost hope there was a moment of light. “In three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn't put on public display.” (Acts 10.40) Yet, for those that did, hope was reborn and the world was a different place because of their lives.
Today, you and I are in a similar position. We have insider insight into Hope. We have the chance to spend time with Divinity. We can be an integral part of a creative rebirth. In short, we can be the difference to those around us. Compassion is our gift. Mercy is our trademark. Love is currency in our pockets.