Dahlia could not stand to be anywhere near people she considered to be old. In her opinion they dressed funny, talked funny, and sometimes smelled funny. Great Grandma Jenny’s arrival was like pouring oil on the smoldering fire of that teenage perspective.
“ Mom,” Dahlia whined with deliberate dramatic angst, “How could you? She’ll be right next to my room. What if she snores or listens to goofy music?”
Anna, the wise middle-aged mother, stayed calm until the girl seemed to wind down.
“Honey, you’re talking about my grandmother. Please…just give her a chance.”
Dahlia was in school when Grandma Jenny arrived. Anna helped the exhausted elderly woman get comfortable in the padded rocker near the window in the guest room.
“Grammy dear, we’re so happy to have you here. We want you to feel like part of the family.”
The wrinkle-faced, white-haired, still sharp old lady had no time to waste. She went right for the bottom line.
“Isn’t your daughter about 15 years old by now?”
“Yes ma’am, but…”
“And where is her room?”
“Right next door…but don’t worry, she won’t bother you.”
The 90-something geriatric relative rolled her eyes heavenward. Anna had seen that same expression this morning. It was Dahlia’s favorite non-verbal comment. Grandma Jenny had more bluntness to share.
“Honey, I have to confess, I can hardly stand to be around youngsters. They dress funny and talk funny, and I’m sure some of them even smell funny.
Anna knew good humor would be the only thing that would keep her sane around those two opinionated generation-gapsters who were so ready to dislike each other. She had to hurry down to see to dinner or else embarrass her guest with peals of laughter.
Grandma Jenny ate a few bites and then asked for some assistance to get to her room. When Anna saw her teenage daughter do the tiresome eye-roll thing she decided to face the foolishness head on.
Lord, I don’t know how to handle this potentially explosive situation except with prayer. I lift those two up for some illumination into their closed minds and hearts. They’re blinded by some human stinkin’ thinkin’. YOU know what to do.
Anna ignored the teenager’s obvious disgust and the elder’s thinly veiled dismay, but she knew the first step had to taken.
“Grammy, Dahlia will be happy to help.”
The worn out, almost-to-the-end-of-life woman and the fresh, just-beginning-hers girl stared hard at each other; neither blinked. The game was on.
No one knows what was said or done, but a very peculiar thing happened in the night.
When the day began insisting on its countdown, Dahlia woke with a start. Her whole body ached. It took every ounce of strength to get her feet on the floor. Her fingers felt stiff and her head hurt. The room seemed blurry. All the young girl could think about was getting to the bathroom before it was too late.
In the room next to hers, the old woman woke about the same time. She expected to spend at least ten minutes trying to become upright and mobile. For some reason, she was able to swing her legs over the side of the bed and jump to her feet with stunning agility. Heading for the bathroom didn’t even cross her mind. She reached for her thick bifocals, but realized she could see perfectly.
She ran to the big mirror on the back of the closet door and had to put one hand over her newly unlined mouth to muffle the scream trying to escape through the white, even teeth. Look at me! I’m young again. I’m beautiful.
Dahlia shuffled into the bathroom intent on preventing an impending accident, but she wasn’t fast enough. Tears spilled from her red-rimmed, cataract covered eyes. She pushed her face as close to the mirror as possible but the reflection was distorted. Who in the world is that creepy old lady? What has happened to me?
Anna was more than surprised when the old one and the young one came into the kitchen arm–in-arm…and smiling.
“Good morning, ladies. I trust you slept well and had good dreams. We’re having something delicious this morning.”
How could she know they had already been served some serious food for thought?
Whether in a dream or through some unexplainable communication from God and with each other, somehow they had walked a mile in each other’s shoes—an ancient adage that speaks volumes in its challenge to stop and THINK.
Philippians 3:15 (NCV)
All of us who are spiritually mature should think this way, too. And if there are things you do not agree with, God will make them clear to you.
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