Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. (Lev. 19:32)

MY DAUGHTER KIMBERLY visited Emeritus nursing home every week and taught a senior citizen exercise class. Her job there was part of a college class on the aging population. Her experience changed her view of the elderly. She thinks more about their daily challenges. For instance, while walking down the sidewalk of an outdoor mall, we came to some steps that were quite steep. She turned to me and said, “Mom, the old folks I visit could never make it up those steps. Why would they make them like that?”

Kimberly also shared some funny stories about the residents. One day, Daryl, a spry old man with a sparkle in his eye, came up to her and said, “Did you know Arkansas is the only state in the Bible? Noah was on the ark-and-saw!” His contagious laugh caused her to chuckle all the way home and share his silly joke with our family.

Kimberly showed Daryl respect by choosing to look him in the eye, listen to his jokes and laugh with him (yes, he had even more top-notch material!). She genuinely enjoyed her time with the elderly crowd and plans to return for visits.

Today’s verse reveals that reverence for the aged demonstrates reverence for God. Everyone wins when we rise in the presence of those with many years behind them.

Visit a nursing home; the changed life may be your own.

Susan Browning Schulz is a wife and active mom of three grown children. She lives riverside in northwest Georgia and loves leading her small group.