Sunday, October 09, 2005

"Sandwich Generation" prayer

God, it’s exciting to watch our children grow up - to watch them reach milestones - college, careers, marriage. But at the same time, as they grow up, we are aging. And if we are aging, then our parents are aging as well.

And as our parents are aging, we watch the deterioration of their bodies - their growing dependence on us. Thus we become the “sandwich” generation. But in reality, every adult generation is a “sandwich” generation. It’s been this way since the children of Adam and Eve had children of their own.

Every adult generation has had to watch their parents grow older and eventually, die. That doesn’t make it any easier, though.

Oh, it is easier in some respects to know, that everyone has to deal with it. No one is exempt from this culmination of the life cycle. But, it is, after all, our parents… and that makes it difficult.

Father, I pray today for a friend whose father is near death. I have been through it with my Mother, and my Daddy is in very poor health now as well. My husband’s father is also in poor health and his Mother is only alive in body - her mind having long since “died” (as far as we are capable of knowing.)

And so, I pray for this friend who must make the journey we all must eventually make. Give him strength Lord, in this time of struggle. Give him comfort in knowing that it is indeed a part of the all-encompassing cycle of life. But also, Lord, give him peace in the knowledge and faith that Christ has conquered death. He was the first, and only, to go into the grave and come back out for all of eternity. He liberated our souls from the tyranny of the grave and we with Paul can proclaim, “Oh death where is your victory, oh grave, where is your sting?”

But it still hurts, Lord. We cannot fully separate our mental/spiritual affirmation from our broken hearts. Our arms will ache with a longing to hold them just once more, for a long time to come (possibly forever?) However, on the other hand, Heaven will become more real to us than we ever thought possible. And Your promises will sustain us.

Blessed be Your Holy Name.

In Jesus’ name - Amen.

Betty J. Newman


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