Full of Years

If you value people who are older—and also your own aging—these entries will help you rejoice in the fullness of this stage of life: its gritty realities, secret joys, hidden spirituality and cherished moments—reasons to be grateful that old age is always a gift from God!

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The matter of Black lives

“Black lives matter”—now both a cultural meme and a growing enterprise–reminds me how the wellbeing of Black persons is too-frequently taken away or tamped down. Systemic racism is named as the cause—rightly so. But another incriminating possibility also comes to mind: That I don’t know the ordinary and extraordinary characteristics of which those lives consist—their matter. I may beMORE...

Diminishing guru mojo?

A classic cartoon genre features a mountaintop sage interacting with a wisdom seeker. The captions spell out possible absurdities in those interactions—seekers or gurus engaged in humorous missteps. Something similar may occur when those of us who are older—sometimes considered to be sage-like—don’t quite measure up to the hopes of those who seek our counsel. That’s how I’m beginning to feelMORE...

Remembering Dick Evenson

For years now, the example of Dick Evenson has followed me—a strange phenomenon because it’s been thirty years since we worked together in the Division for Parish Services of the former Lutheran Church in America. The personal quality that always impressed me during that time was Dick’s unflagging positive outlook. No matter what, no matter whom. At first this attitude seemed saccharine or naïveMORE...

Scavenging

  Watching shopkeepers and volunteers clean up the damage from the recent rioting and looting, I have seen something reminiscent of what tornado survivors do: Scavenging. Returning to normal starts with sifting through the wreckage to find what might be valuable or critical. If I want to salvage anything or anyone, scavenging is a necessary skill and attitude. Another down-and-dirty elementMORE...

Limerick Pastor

  I once had the good fortune to meet a pastor who loved writing limericks. This was no small undertaking; he had honed his skills to the point of constructing sermons comprised entirely of limericks! (I am not authorized to disclose this pastor’s name because his identity is being guarded by our denomination’s Limerick Pastor Protection Program.) It’s possible that limerick-writing might beMORE...

No pushovers

  If you’re the kind of punk, coward or miscreant—or perhaps a police officer—who thinks it’s okay to knock over old people, this word: We’re not your pushovers. Sure, we’re easy targets—our canes, walkers, stooped shoulders or shuffling gaits give us away—but that doesn’t mean we deserve your brand of violence. When you knock us over—for whatever reasons—it may seem that we lose: We stumbleMORE...

Salvaging revisited

  A few days ago, I offered some thoughts about salvaging. More needs to be said…. As I suggested previously, salvaging is a kind of rescuing that also extends into other areas of life: Reshaping attitudes that are bent out of shape; fixing broken relationships; propping up wobbly social institutions; salving the deep emotional wounds of those who are dispirited or downtrodden—a peopleMORE...

Inside the big picture

  One of the benefits of this stage in life is scrambling around inside “the big picture” more easily than when I was younger. Because I’ve lived this many decades, I’m fairly certain that a narrow view of life just doesn’t cut it. I know that I have a better chance of living well—even prospering—when I expand the framework of my thoughts and actions into a larger way of thinking. “InsideMORE...

After Memorial Day

This past Memorial Day an old memory of my father came back into focus. It had to do with his World War II military service. I think this collection of thoughts came about as I imagined the feelings of families whose loved ones have died while in uniform. Thinking about their losses recalled my father’s circumstances as a draftee right at the end of that war. Ed Sitze was already married and theMORE...

Salvage

  For a couple of weeks, salvage has been following me around like a kitten looking for a home. Sometimes unobtrusive and at other times almost in my face, this word has gradually wormed its way into my conscious thoughts. Some of them follow here. Salvage is derived from salvare, the Latinate root for salvation. The 17th century noun form first designated the payment offered for saving aMORE...

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Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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