Oct 15, 2014

I'm Attracted To Older Men...

I am attracted to older men. I admit it. Like a moth to a flame. Like putty in their hands...
I don’t want to be, it just happens. I can’t help myself. 
When I see their faces, something inside me pushes me towards them. Their eyes tell stories, hold memories, locked away... sometimes leaked out through tears. 

Before you judge, let me share more of the older men I am drawn to. They are elderly, think fragile. They are alone, sometimes a bandage framing their foreheads. A fall causing a break of the skin, similar to paper, dotted with scars of long life, too much sun, and repeat hospital visits.
They are parked in wheelchairs, off to the side or left in the middle of a room, no chair beside them for a chance encounter with a fellow human being. 
To be stared at from the other side of the room.
Airports are where we meet.

Last week I waited to board a flight when I spotted him. Exactly as I described above.
 I looked for an opportunity to speak with him. 
He was a bit flustered, his hands fiddling between his wallet and ticket. 

My phone rang. An opportunity to stand and walk away from others, not sharing my one sided conversation. A quick call and I found myself behind his wheel chair. I walked around to where I could see his face and he could see mine. 
I bent down, quietly asked if he was traveling alone. Yes. I asked if he needed anything, possibly a beverage. No.
I pointed to where I was sitting, telling him to wave if he needed anything. He thanked me. That was it. 
I watched for the next thirty minutes. No one looked at him, spoke to him or acknowledged his presence.
My heart broke a little. 
Always my response.

I thought back to a flight a few years ago. I had recently lost my dad, quickly and painfully. I had been flying to visit my mom, with a layover in Dallas. It was late at night when I saw him. Alone, in a wheelchair, fragile, having recently suffered the loss of his wife. He loved her dearly. He told me so. He was devastated and did not know if he would survive. His honesty and grief broke my heart, changed me forever. 
I wrote about this on November 30, 2012.  http://Love One Another

I struggled that night with how he could be left to travel so far alone, in such a broken condition. I struggled with the people around me who failed to see him. I struggle every time this happens. Then I began to think of the people I don’t see... but you see.
The people I walk by, ignore... yet you reach down, looking into their eyes.
You lift up, bandage, hold tight as you wipe away tears.
I am broken in my desire to help another human.
 I imagine it will always be this way.
It reminds me...
of my role.
To simply encourage who God puts in my path. My role is not to push you, shame you or force you into my role. 
As the Bible talks about the many parts of the body of the church in Romans 12:4
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.”

I am grateful that we share this body of the church, of sisters and brothers. I hope we find our roles today and are able to lift another up.
I have been lifted up countless times by this body... and you have allowed me to find my role.

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