When Honor Fails

Several weeks ago, while watching a town hall meeting of one of the presidential candidates, an elderly man came to the floor microphone and introduced himself as a WWII veteran. 

His words were immediately interrupted as the crowd stood and applauded him in honor of his service to our country. I was deeply impressed watching this amazing tribute from my living room. I can’t imagine how it would have felt to be there.

Suppose for a minute that you and I were there. I wonder if the honor continued at the end of the event. Did people speak to him, or were they in a rush to speak to the candidate and beat the traffic. Was there someone there to walk him to his car? Imagine further that we followed him home. Does he live alone? Are there friends and family to help? Do the grandkids and neighborhood children gather around to hear his stories? Do young couples ask him for advice on life, marriage and family? If the answers to these questions are yes, then he is an exception and is exceedingly blessed. 

I was in a church last Sunday where I heard it announced that it was Senior Honor Sunday. Shortly after the service opened the seniors were asked to stand and the audience applauded in honor. Nothing more was said or done during service to honor the seniors. Applauding, for whatever reason, is easy to do and can often be done in mindless ritualistic fashion. To truly honor someone takes an intentional effort.

If there is one thing that is abundantly clear this election season, we, as a nation and a people, are in trouble! We could debate for hours the causes that have lead us to the point where we are today, but one cause stands abundantly clear to this writer who has dedicated his life to honoring seniors. We as a nation have forgotten to honor our seniors! We as a community have forgotten to be good neighbors and honor our seniors! We as a church have pushed our seniors away and have forgotten what it means to honor them! We as a family have let life become so hectic that we have forgotten to honor our senior loved ones! Using church speak, it is high time to repent and that repentance will result in seniors being truly honored, not simply applauded!

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries