Growing older, with failing health

Once I could run and jump,
now my joints are stiff
and I move with difficulty.

Walking the dusty roads,
Jesus taught and healed.
He and his friends were young and active.

Walking the roads of my youth,
I was busy at work and at home.
I was young and active.

In the garden of Gethsemane
Jesus prayed, ‘Take this cup from me.’
The cup held suffering.

In my armchair
I pray, ‘Take this cup from me.’
The cup holds failing health.

In his last days Jesus was no longer active.
People did things for him and to him.
Mary bathed his feet, soldiers whipped him.

In my last days I am no longer active.
People do things for me and to me.
My carer bathes my body, doctors treat me.

Jesus’ passion was also his time of passivity.
My old age is my time of passivity.
Yet Jesus never stopped loving.

God of compassion,
I pray that you will take away my bitterness
and as my body fails, give me a loving heart.

I ask it in Jesus’ name.



On ‘losing’ a loved one to Alzheimers

They say it is a living bereavement
that no one else can understand.
To ‘lose’ someone whilst they are still there.
Not to have the hard comfort of funeral rites.
It can be a cruel calling.

Help me to remember the ‘you’ that you were.
To enjoy memories that may still trigger your own fleeting recognition.

Help me to cherish the ‘you’ that is now,
still special to me even when you have forgotten why.

Help me to envision the ‘you’ that will one day be,
restored in the enfolding love of God,
in whom past, present and future are one,
and in whom we shall then be complete.

Lord, keep me in hope and give me strength until that day.

(Albert Jewell)