Dear Older Women of our Church,
Studies show that older women feel invisible. They no longer display the celebrated beauty of youth, the magical gift of fertility, or the fresh face of potential. Though they fight to believe God’s truth about aging, the culture sure doesn’t make it easy.
But older ladies, you are not invisible to us. You are not irrelevant. Don’t think for a minute that your work is done around here. We honor you and we need you.
- We need your stories. You’ve learned hard lessons and hiked steep hills. You’ve realized that not everything we dream in our twenties comes to be, but that God’s ways are perfect. You’ve fought for joy and witnessed God’s faithfulness in the long haul. If you can do that, so can we. Please tell us those stories.
- We need to hear your prayers. Sometimes spoken through tears, they are rich with the promises of God. Instead of giving up, you let your heartache for those you love drive you to the Savior. You’ve prayed for years, for decades, for generations. And as you wait and trust, we listen and learn.
- We need your example. When we see you cleaning the church kitchen, leading ministries, and greeting visitors, we are schooled. That’s right, we remember, this church is not about our personal preferences. It’s about our Savior, and we get to spend our lives investing in this place he loves. It’s not about what we have to do, it’s about what we get to do.
- We need to see you worship. Your lifted hands speak to us. They tell us that worship is not about perfect circumstances or emotional highs. It’s about pledging our lives, week in and week out, to the God who gave his life for us. It’s all about him. And he is worth singing and celebrating until our dying breath, no matter the circumstance of the hour.
- We need your wisdom. We tend to panic and worry when things go wrong. We need your long view of parenting, of singleness, of marriage, of ministry. We know that the older you get, the less you think you have to offer, but it’s simply not true. Your life lessons in God are a treasure to us.
- We need your perseverance. There are lots of good, godly reasons to change churches, but to those who have been here for the long haul, we draw strength from you. You carry our history, you show us how God can keep changing us, you laugh at how far you’ve come and how far you have to go, and you proclaim the gospel from one generation to another.
- We need your beauty. Like the tree in Psalm 1 yielding its fruit in season, you are aging and changing. But the beauty of that tree is stunning. Its far-reaching leaves create shadow shows. Its weathered bark is strong and textured. Its branches that held rope swings and roots that reach deep tell us stories. The weathering that is happening to you speaks of God’s work in your life, and it’s lovely.
- We need your love. You are our moms and grandmoms, whether through blood-lines or faith-lines, and your influence on our lives is greater than you know. Thank you for loving us! Don’t believe for a minute that you’re washed up and out of date or that your best days are behind you. The kingdom of God turns cultural values on their heads, and there are still countless good works that God has prepared in advance for you to do.
Thank you for being heroes of the faith to us, older women. Your very presence gives us courage. Feel our love and admiration for all you are, and feel God’s pleasure as well. You will yield your fruit in season.
[Stop by next week for a letter to younger women.]