Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” Genesis 27:6-10
You’ve heard the words. Or, you might have spoken these words. “He won’t know the difference. He’s out of it!” This is Rebekah’s attitude as she sets out to trick her husband. Isaac is nearly blind and it’s true that he won’t be aware if Jacob dresses up to pose as his twin brother, Esau. The rest of the story is infamous.
Old age invites the reckless behavior of someone younger. Visit an elderly person who is unaware of time and it’s tempting to stay two minutes instead of twenty – just because you know they won’t remember or know the difference. But here’s the thing ~ God’s Spirit asks the penetrating question, “Who, in my name, are you taking advantage of?”
The feeble, frail, and helpless, are the ones over whom God is most passionate. Mistreat them and His anger is kindled. It doesn’t just apply to the older population. Each person I am in a relationship with has a place of frailty, a tender spot where they are vulnerable. In my flesh, I can smell an opportunity to gratify myself at their expense. But when I reach out to the feeble, to the ‘least of these, Jesus says that I am really interacting with Him.
I am 68 years old. No longer a thirty-something, I am clearly in the last quarter of my life. Because of this, I can see the possibility of a younger person treating me as if I’m clueless. They would assume I’m not as fast, or as aware, or as technologically savvy as they are. And the truth is, I am no match technologically to someone in their twenties, as hard as I might work at staying current. I don’t like how this bias feels but know that this is just the way it is.
What is humbling and unfortunate though is when I bring this same disrespect to those who might be weaker, those who might not be as informed as I am in a certain area, or be as healthy as me, or are as young. The burning question is this: How would Jesus treat them? Would He take shortcuts? I doubt it. Integrity and respect must be the hallmarks of attitudes and interactions. Whatever I do is for the glory or the dishonor of Christ.
Help me see Your face in the faces of the feeble, beginning at home. Amen