My friend is 86. We’re somewhat of an odd pair. I’m not even sure when our friendship began. I know it was several years ago and I think I was listening to him in the hallway of a big building where a church was meeting. I have a foggy memory of him telling me most of his friends had passed and that he was lonely. I invited him to breakfast.
I figured it was the kind thing to do. Jesus, I thought, probably would want me to show this old guy some love. I was like a boyscout ushering a senior citizen across the street to earn another badge for my sash. I really didn’t have the time but I could carve out a little to do my good deed.
Sometimes I am such a bonehead!
My friend and I have had hundreds of breakfast meetings since then. We’ve taken some drives. We’ve walked together. He’s come to my house to watch baseball, nodding off in my comfy recliner. He’s given me so much.
Yes, he repeats his stories from time to time but that’s fine with me. I listen to his journey, I marvel at him living his faith while being tossed about on the waves of ships he called home in World War II. He brings me devotional books he read and notes he wrote while warplanes flew above and gunships assemble. He sings lines from hymns that sustained him.
He asks me about my walk. He asks me if he can pray for me. He asks how I am and then listens intently before giving a bit of advice here and there. Pearls of wisdom. Pearls.
His eyes fill with tears when he talks about his Jesus.
My friend and I met for breakfast again this morning. Before I knew it, 2 hours had passed. I had only an hour before I was meeting with a 22 year old so we could talk about church planting and spreading the gospel.
I’m probably the old man in his life.
From what I see in the Scriptures, my time with my wise elderly friend then duplicated with my sharing with my young brother is the pattern of discipleship.
Maybe my elderly friend is getting together with me because he believes Jesus would have him do it. Do you know what? If that were the case, and I know it is not, that would be okay with me. I need those pearls.
Joel 2:28-29 “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams,and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike.”
An awesome example of naturally occuring discipleship. This type of mentoring and discipleship is one negative result of the split services over the past 10-15 years. My generation has missed out on developing relationships with “older folks” who have so much insight to offer regarding their walk with Jesus.