This blog is part of an ongoing series that answers an intriguing question: What might it mean for older adults to claim that they are still “fearfully and wonderfully made?”
Eventually someone else is going to want to know more about your body or brain. That person could be your spouse, a medical professional, a counselor or pastor, or even a dear friend. They love you and want to be helpful as much as possible. Unless you are a devotee of utter privacy, you’re probably not going to want to spend your later years being the only one who knows about your aches and pain, and who shares your sense of wonder that your body and brain keep doing marvelous things.
The question arises: Who are you going to trust with this information —medical, psychological or spiritual facts — and your personal thoughts about what is happening to you? With whom will you be honest? Who will accept your worries or whinings without enabling you to continue in these unhelpful mindsets? In the face of disturbing, alarming or serious developments, whose comfort will really assure you? Whose spiritual advice might be more than garden-variety helpful? How deeply and thoroughly do you want these individuals to know your core thoughts and emotions?
You can’t encounter age-related physical/mental/medical problems and never tell anyone. So it would be helpful to ask yourself the questions here, surveying your relational landscape to determine who will be your confidante, helper, truth-teller or healer.
One simple suggestion: Tamp down both false pride and false humility. The same with body shame and guilt. These are spiritual matters! Another: Think about who trusts you. (In these matters, it’s good that the trust goes both ways!) Still another: Whose personal characteristics add up to something approaching godliness. Think where you see Jesus, The Prophet or the Buddha in someone else’s at-rest or off-camera personality.
A final question: Why trust someone else with knowledge about your fearfully and wonderfully made body?
Because you trust God….
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