I have heard it said that the worst part about being old is remembering being young; the helplessness of knowing you cannot go back. Yet, I wonder when we reach the distant shore beyond the world as we have known it, if we will find ourselves returned and in the flower of life, men and women of, perhaps 30 years. How would it be to again be full of life but to have also the knowledge of the aged? To know the wisdom of thankfulness when yearning for what was is transformed into the joy for what is. Few in their youth know such wisdom.
We are brethren,
Kindred in a fallen race.
Fallen from God’s gracious blessing,
Everywhere but on our face.
Proud of all our vain achievements,
Prouder of things we’ve yet to do.
Choosing to ignore our weakness,
We’d have our cake, and eat it, too.
Wretched people proud and broken,
Who will save us from this death?
Praise to Jesus, eternal Savior,
Who gives the corpse eternal breath.
There comes a certain age.
Life has eroded away,
like a trodden path.
And there, revealed in the way, is a stone.
It is hope.
You did not know it was there,
Yet there it is.
You had hoped for something and did not know it.
And then, as life erodes away,
you realize the hope is broken.
It is unfulfilled.
And all this —
This all happens at the same time.
She is my daughter.
A woman. Full grown.
She is not getting taller.
I look down at her
As we hug goodbye.
Not so far down now.
Closer eye to eye than we once were.
“No,” I say. “I am getting smaller.”
She has noticed that
I am not what I once was.
The years have whittled me down by inches.
Once I was a giant.
Or so I imagined.
But she has found me out.
Seen it with her own eyes.
I am a man.