Fleeting Thoughts

I had a thought that’s been rockin’ on the back porch of my thinkin.’ Don’t know where it’s gone off to now. It may come back, or it may not, but if I don’t remember where it went, then I won’t miss it.

Now that I am a senior I can do the same dumb things I did when I was younger, only now I have an excuse for it. They don’t expect perfection anymore from this wrinkled brow. I’ve got to say that there is some mellowing out in me as a result and also because the Lord’s had all this time to work out the wrinkles that are in me.

Sometimes I worry about them coming to haul me away because they think I’m senile when I’ve always been this way; a creative eclectic and a bit eccentric, normal in a youth, questionable in a senior.

I used to carry a laptop case instead of a pocket book. It makes an older woman look important. I just don’t tell them it keeps the Depends flat.

I was at a checkout and the youngster at the register had a tee shirt with the word SENIOR blazoned across the front of it. I said, “I’m a senior, too!” and we both shared a laugh as she checked out what vittles I could afford on what’s left of my monthly stipend. I feel fortunate that I always thought of beans as a delicacy.

I’ve always been a hyperactive senior, but someday I may become a stillife; just as lovely when viewed in a different light. I will smile and fold my hands; a perfect illustration of the word, ‘serene.’ I am still, and I know He is God- Psalm 46:10.


Sign on church - "Don't regret growing older. It's a privilege denied to many."
Senior Moments

The following is a collection of prose that has originated from my journey into senior adulthood. I am sharing them in hopes that they will be used to encourage others on the same adventure into the future of their lives. Please feel free to share them in nursing homes, senior centers, the aging wonder who may be living right next door, and any who work in ministry to seniors and the elderly.

Pray for Me

I don’t need programs or silly songs unless they are about eternity. What I really need is for someone to take my hand and say that they understand; that they emphasize with one who is so frail, that time has robbed of youth and memories that used to comfort. Tell me that I am not alone. Ask me if I would like you to pray for me. Make sure that I know that I am loved and this dwindling life of mine still holds value to the One who created it, even though I may not understand what it was all about. And in your prayers let me hear the Name I must know, that Jesus is the One I need to escort me home. Help me to believe. Help me to see, though my vision of this life is fading. Help me to hear the sound of God’s Voice calling my name, even though my ears are closing to the earthly sounds around me. The only things that are as sharp and keen as they ever were are my feelings – and sometimes they torment me.I am a prisoner trapped in a crumbling shroud of flesh and hollow bones. Pray for me, please, and give me the words that can set me free.

A Message for My Seniors

So, you think you are done. You are very old, you say. There is nothing left. You have been dwelling on this and it has made you depressed. You have been very focused on yourself and because of this you haven’t been able to hear My Still Small Voice, even though I have been trying to get your attention for quite a while. Listen to Me now. I have planned this season for a purpose and it is a very special time. During this change in your life I have been removing distractions. You may feel as though there is nothing left, but My child, you must understand that as the things of this life are falling away from you, you are being directed to renew your focus upon Me, and Me alone. I am your future and this is all that really matters. I have given you time during this season to be still. You may not hear as well with your ears, but you can tune yourself to hear Me above all things, clearly and loudly. You will call and I will answer.You may not see as well as you used to, but My child,you can focus your inner vision to see into the heavenly realm.The adventure is just beginning. Do not I mean more to you than the things you can touch, feel or see? You may not feel that you are useful anymore, but I want you to know that I need you. Your prayers are powerful. You have within you by faith, the cry that can stop wars, heal bodies, and most importantly – save souls. You are part of a vast army of My people that have been moved into this season of stillness for My purposes.Your communion with Me is precious. This is a time of great preparation and through your prayers you can accomplish much. This is the ministry I am calling you to in this hour.
Value what I have given to you. My child, you will never be done.

You who have been borne by Me from birth, and have been carried from the womb; even to your old age, I shall be the same, and even to your graying years I shall bear you! I have made you, and I shall carry you; and I shall deliver you - Isaiah 46:3,4.
Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; - Psalm 92:13,14.

At the doctors the other day I was asked if I would like to sign a living will. The doctor said, “If you don’t then we will do the max.”
   “Do the max," I told him, “and let God decide when I’m done.” I read about a girl who was arrested because she didn’t feed her dog and she got some kind of sentence for it. Now if you sign a living will and give them permission to let you go, they stop feeding you and even withhold water so you go quicker. You can do that to a human, but if you starve a dog to death it’s a crime. Strange world, isn’t it?

Thought I woke up to the sound of the wind whistling through the trees, but it was only my breath weaving through the gaps in my teeth.

I am aging

I am aging,
One tiny step at a time.
I once was a child;
Soon I will be racing to become
A child again;
I will drool, wear diapers and someone will
Push me around in a carriage.
My perceptions of the things around me will
And I hope it gets better, more simplified.
For isn’t what this change is about?
To strip away all that this life has
Adorned me with
That isn’t really necessary.
I am being called in my limitations
To focus on what is really important;
The future that is waiting for me.
I am running to my eternal home
and a loving Parent God, who longs to gather this little
Child in His arms.


A cocoon has walls,
But only the one locked inside knows what they look like. Only the one surrounded by the gray, crackling surface knows what it is like to
Struggle to be released.
There is a time to be locked away with God,
While He works his miracle of transformation.
It’s worth the wait and the time enclosed to acquire the wings of a
Brand new beginning.
So this life is the cocoon,
and only the one living it knows
What it is really like for them.
And the eyes of God who lives there too,
Searches the heart and the mind of
The life contained in such a tiny space.
It’s a comfort to know that He shares in the struggles,
He weeps at the tomb
before the cocoon is torn open,
Then He laughs as we fly away together.

The Dancer
When she was young, she could leap so high, she thought she could touch the sun.
And no earthly fears could keep her feet bound to the ground.
   Sometimes she would lead the worship with her timbrel in her hand.
The other women surrounded her like a garden of choice blooms swaying in the breath of His wind.
    Sometimes she would dance to Him alone when no one was watching but Him.
In elegant, graceful movement, she could become for His pleasure;
An ocean of gently rolling motion, or a bird soaring,
Or wind rushing, or a child kneeling....
When she was young.
    Now she sits. Her body is sore and worn from all the desert years.
Now she sits and remembers a praise so free.
She is the dancer only in her memory.
But true worship isn’t limited by an aging frame.
    Miriam, the dancer, closes her eyes. Some would see a very old woman resting, but if they could only see the celebration inside! Her voice has become a choir as her heart whirls in devotion. Feeling the caress of His favor, this old woman, imbued with passion, worships with spinning fervor. Her spirit worships,
Her soul is soaring,
As she sits, she is dancing; and she leaps so high, now she can touch the sun!

Sign in front of church - "Don't regret growing older. It's a privilege denied to many."

The Embryo, The Wilderness and the Cocoon

In the beginning, I was an embryo.
Then I was born into the wilderness of this life.
I quickly learned that it can be a dangerous place,
So I put my trust in God.
He never failed to lead me to a much better place
Than what I thought was best for me.

He led me around pot holes and sink holes.
Sometimes He’d hold my hand and we’d leap over the obstacles in my way.
Faith can make you jump so high,
And perseverance takes you even farther.

But now I am nearing my journey’s end,
Entering into the cocoon of change.
The struggle, I know, will make me stronger (Even though I am weak),
Until I can break through with new wings.
Newly freed, like a butterfly, I will soar to Feast upon my Rose in the sky.

Remembering Him

There are many things that have flown from my Memory,
But I will always remember him.
We spent so many wonderful years together, but He aged more quickly than I did.
I sat beside him as he lay dying.
He looked up at me with those beautiful brown Eyes of his.
He couldn’t make a sound.
I stroked his head and told him he was the best.
He was always there for me.
So faithful, such a comfort. I miss cuddling with him On those cold, winter nights,
Feeling the warmth of his breath on my cheek.
I still miss him so, even though he’s been gone for such a long time.
Yet, I am so grateful I had him at all.
Excuse me while I wipe away another tear, and sigh
Remembering him.
He was the best cat I ever had.

A Conversation with a Fellow Senior
“So, what did you do today?”
“Lot’s of things.”
“What were they?”
“You can’t remember, can you?”
“It’s hidden knowledge.”
“You can’t remember.”

The New Pink Coat

Pink is the color of a brand new coat that this senior bought today, that made her feel like she Was twenty-one again - only wiser.

God said, “We’re going shopping now,” something I had not planned. I thought I needed a nap.
But I followed along and found a blessing - a one hundred dollar beauty on a winter close out Sale, with additional deductions taken at the register.
And this senior walked out the door with a prize for only ten-ninety five - with tax!

Pink is the color of new beginnings, the shadings of a sunset promising a brand new day;
The hue in a rainbow declaring ‘Your prayers have been heard and help is on the way.’

Pink is the color of my cheeks when I risk a few moments in the sun, natural make-up that Makes this senior glow. And pink is the color of the inner glow that the Son of God gives of new Life and new beginnings to those who sometimes think that they may be too old,
And that there are no more surprises.

Pink is the color of hope. It reminds me that when I die, I'm not staying dead, because my Jesus said, "Because I live, so you will also."
This senior's got a future that I am looking forward to. Do you?

You are never to old to celebrate miracles, dream dreams and enjoy the moment
Even if you can't remember what it was you enjoyed about it.

I contemplate the meaning of my new pink coat and the future as I watch Him smile through The sunset and the rainbow and listen to Him say, “My child, we’ve only just begun.”

There is an Angel

There is an angel playing a violin outside my window. I can’t tell anyone that he is there because they would think that I am crazy, or worse – they wouldn’t believe me.
    “An old woman’s delusions,” they would say.
    It’s so very hard for adults to believe in miracles, and this is why I decided to remain a child for all of my life.
    What a lovely song this angel is playing, and I am the only one who can hear it; a serenade just for me, a concert of Divine originality. If this angel continues to play much longer I will have to get up and dance to the tune; an aging shadow floating against the wall, moving to an angel’s music. And they all think I’m senile – that’s because they have never learned to think at all – or pray.
    How sad that it takes so long for some of us to hear an angel’s song. How sad that so many are ashamed in their lifetimes to dance to the music that God provides. But this old shadow pirouettes down the halls, past the lives sulking in the corridors afraid to move.
    There is an angel outside my window playing a violin; a lovely gift, and a gentle, loving reminder that God knows exactly where I am. He hasn’t forgotten me. And He wants to remind me that I am listening to only part of the melody; one violin sent down from the orchestra, a solo preview of the grand concert to come.

Copyright 2008-2019 by H.D. Shively

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