A friend showed me a palm tree that began growing vertically, but with age it bent closer and closer to the ground until eventually it was virtually horizontal and falling down. She had propped it up with a wooden trestle, allowing the palm tree to continue its life even if parallel to the ground. Her thoughtfulness and ingenuity make me question myself—how do I react to older people? Do I feel uncomfortable and awkward with them, uncertain what to say or how to react? Am I uneasy with clothing that may be stained or with odors that may be unpleasant? Forgive me Lord for failing to reach out to the needs of those who are older than I. May I, like that wooden trestle, act as a prop and stay, may I help to bring your good news to all whom I meet, at any end of the age continuum. Forgive me my fear of my own advancing age; remind me that you have defeated time and death—I need never fear. Amen.