Tomorrow’s reminder: God’s love redeems us. We’re saved not only from eternal punishment, but also made useful for God’s purposes. We experience that love in our love for each other. Lives bent toward loneliness, despair or self-doubt are turned around by the tangible evidence that someone else cherishes us. When love finds us, we’re rescued, retrofitted with hope and reinforced for purposed lives. Love redeems us.
Love can bring new life to older adults, who may have given up on the possibility that someone might consider them lovable. When love blossoms among older adults, it’s one of the most satisfying elements of elderhood and a joy to witness.
I see redeeming love in many older adult lives: Not-yet-married men and women find life partners long after they think that their years of romance or matrimony have passed. Divorced people move toward new, pleasurable relationships. Previously divorced couples re-discover each other and remarry. Elders whose spouses have died come to realize that their “good friends for years” also love them dearly—that together they can form new marriages. Residents of assisted living facilities care for each other deeply, adding joy and luster to each other’s waning years. Widows and widowers form clusters of new, like-minded best-friends. Long-married couples remember and revisit the reasons why they remain dear to each other.
When redeeming love comes into the lives of older adults, we can experience something like a second life—a renewed sense of meaning. Our mental, physical and spiritual health might improve. Depression can decline in the face of new joys. We may consider end-of-life matters more easily, more hopefully. As newly beloved older adults, we can be examples how God’s redeeming love is always possible, a good reason to see our lives as full.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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