Monday, March 21, 2011


In spite of my illness and pain, I'm looking forward to the spring flowers and sunshine. I'm counting my many blessings.


Expiration Dates
I checked the few prescription drugs in my medicine cabinet and discovered some as old as Methuselah. Out they went in the trash, because they’re ineffective and possibly dangerous.

My kitchen also holds outdated stuff—cans and boxes of food stamped with “best used by …” some past date. Yikes! It’s hard to throw out food I’ve paid for but haven’t used or eaten—especially the stale potato chips.

I find the same situation when perusing the clothes in my closet. Some I’m hanging onto in hopes of fitting into them in the future. Others are out of style or I’m just plain tired of them. Still others, like last year’s tennis shoes, are so ratty—but comfortable—that I’m ashamed to keep them in sight next to my newer ones. They clearly should be labeled with “Best used by …”

When I think about today’s mindset about old age—the mindset of some to put an invisible expiration date on senior citizens and handicapped people—I’m appalled. Since when should an old man in a wheelchair, who’s unable to speak, be written off as useless and unable to keep contributing something positive to his family or society?

The value of a person does not—or should not—come from age, ability, or intelligence. There’s a lot to be said about the joy and emotional well-being that a handicapped person brings. We all have something to contribute. There’s a lot to be said, also, about the wisdom and experience that comes from age. It behooves us to respectfully listen to our elders.

The Bible tells us we are all of value. Jesus said, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered …. you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31-32)

Psalm 139 speaks of God’s incredible care for us. “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made … My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (verses 13-16)
Unlike the food we eat or the medications we take, our bodies are not stamped with an expiration date. Only God knows the day we will expire. And even then, those of us who know Him personally and serve Him will live on in eternity with Him.

Lord, show us how to value every living thing, even as You value us and all of creation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

1 comment:

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

Sally, a great post. And how incredibly true. I see so many patients who have been discarded by their families and still have so much to offer the world. I tell myself that their family's loss is my gain.