DIGNITY


There is little dignity in ageing, Father.


We are the butt of jokes

about forgetfulness,

posture,

clothing,

wrinkles,

hearing,

incontinence—

And many of them are true.

We ask,

‘What did he say?’

‘Can you open this for me?’

‘What do I have to do?’

‘Do I know her?’

We are prodded,

and measured,

and sampled,

and questioned

By medical practitioners of every ilk,

Who seem fascinated about

our blood,

our urine,

our bowels,

our eating,

our exercise,

our state of mind.

And we accept it,

walking the corridors of medical facilities

in gowns that leave our unattractive features exposed;

allowing doctors

to access our intimate body parts;

making messes

which others clean up;

accepting help with basic activities.

It’s not that others want to humiliate us.

They seek only to help.

It’s just that I feel my dignity went …

well …

wherever it was they took my clothes.

And then, Father, I remember:

That Jesus died an undignified death—

mocked,

beaten,

taunted,

betrayed—

By choice,

Without protest—

For me.

How can I say thank you?

This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. (1 Peter 2: 21, MSG)

REFLECTIONS ON FAITH INSPIRED BY SENIORS

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