As soon as I stepped through the doors, I could tell I was in the minority by about thirty years. The church was filled with World War II veterans, aging widows, and frail couples. I was in the presence of the “Greatest Generation” (a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw). These are the men and women who grew up during the Great Depression, served our country in a number of wars, and lived by a code of ethics based on doing what is honorable, no matter the personal cost.
The man we were remembering today was a decorated war veteran. As I scanned the room, my grief spread beyond the personal loss for these friends and family members. I was also grieving for the loss our nation is now experiencing.
We are losing, daily, some of our nation’s greatest strengths and sources of wisdom. We are losing men and women who’ve endured atrocities, hunger, poverty, and all the technological transitions from the early twentieth century to the computer age. They’ve not only endured, they’ve adapted, survived, and thrived. These are men and women who understood the call to live sacrificially, and our country is indebted to these heroes. Our churches need to glean from their rich wisdom.
When I travel to other countries, I see those who’ve lived long and full lives and they are respected for their knowledge and life experience. But our culture celebrates youth to the exclusion of our elders. The voice of this Great Generation has been squelched and we are reaping the consequence of that silence.
We need to hear from those who’ve traveled life’s road much longer than we, and glean from what they’ve learned through their years of living sacrificially. We need to hear how they’ve applied the truth of the Word in practical ways to their daily lives. I long to have a woman in her eighties or nineties, tell me how I can love Christ more. I want to hear older women talk about what they’ve seen God do, the prayers He’s answered, to rejoice with them over victories and be encouraged by their faithfulness.
Are you one of those from the “Greatest Generation?”
I’d love to hear from you today. What are some of the most important lessons God has taught you?
Maybe you’re not from that generation, but you’ve been impacted by an older woman. What have you learned from her that has helped you in your personal walk with the Lord?