Meditation from Cornelia Winton
. . . He said to him the third time “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And he said to him, “Feed my sheep.” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep . Truly, truly I say to you, when you were young you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.”
All of us have known persons who have become ill and helpless as they grew older. Often they had spent their lives in Christian service, trying to follow Christ’s insistent words, “Feed my sheep.” They have rejoiced in the strength to serve as teacher, friend, helper, healer.
Now they must confront a greater challenge – to accept with patience the kindness of others. They must accept the loss of independence, and even the loss of dignity. They must rely on others for even their most private physical needs. Somehow, they remain cheerful and uncomplaining, always thanking their helpers. They are grateful for the small blessings of life, for a day of sunshine, for the beauty of flowers and music, for the visits from loyal and understanding family members and friends.
They are a blessing to all who know them. They help us to understand the love of which Paul wrote: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” I Corinthians 13:7
May God give us grace to follow their shining example, if the need arises.
During the season of Lent, daily meditations from members of the Pullen community are being posted online. Subscribe by email at www.pullen.org/category/meditation.