A New Baby and an Old Man

Today I visited a new baby in his home. The baby is five days old. His parents beheld him with a sense of reverence as they took delight in his few minutes of being wide awake. It was a joy for me to hold him and share in the wonder of this new life.

Before I left we leaned over the baby, who was cuddled in his father’s arms, thanked God for knitting him together in his mother’s womb and for making him physically perfect. We prayed that he become an image bearer of Jesus. It was good to be embraced by the miracle of birth.

I then picked up my husband and we drove to the home of a ninety one year old man who is now on hospice home care. This man is one I have known for several years. He and his wife have been pillars in our Senior Adult Ministry.

He was propped in a large chair, wearing pajamas and a robe. He, like the baby described above, needed to be carried from his bed this morning. After a gracious greeting he told me he had been praying all weekend to go home and be with Jesus. He looked deep into my eyes and asked, “What possible use can I be now?”

I asked him to reflect on his life and give me three things that he would want a five-day-old baby to know.

He took a deep breath and said, 1) Believe that the Lord Jesus died for your sins, 2) God is always in control, and 3) Ask and you will receive.

I thanked him for these wise comments and promised to pass them along to the parents of the baby.

Remembering this old man needed meaning and purpose I told him he could be praying for this baby.

The old man said, “Let’s do that right now.”.

The prayer went something like this, “Thank You, Lord, for the gift you have given to these parents by the loving arms of Jesus. May your rich blessing be upon this child and may he grow to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior.”

I believe the life of this baby will be different because of the prayers of this dying man. I am not usually one to focus on numbers but today I calculated that the old man had lived 33,239 days. The baby had lived 5 days.

Lord, teach us to number our days that we may be a blessing to the generations to follow. Today I celebrated a new life and an old life well lived. Thank you, Lord, for a new baby and an old man.

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