She walked into the chapel, hunched over and slowly walking. Shocked, I saw her bow a little deeper before entering the pew after her husband. For most of the Mass she remained seated, but she would stand briefly for different parts before sitting back down again.
They were elderly and found it difficult to move but they were at an evening Mass on a weekday. I felt protective of the lady, making certain the pew didn’t move as she slowly lowered herself down again. It was a witness of authentic love, of Jesus and of each other.
I found myself praying that someday, that would be me. Maybe not in Leon, Spain but somewhere in the world. That I would be able to grow old with someone, that we would make it to Mass even when standing for very long proved difficult. Gnarled hands, stooping backs, weak eyes, fairness of youth replaced with the antiquity of age, all of it points to the beauty of love that endures, that holds fast to “I do” despite trials and hardships.
I was reminded of this Spanish couple after Mass today. Walking over to the adoration chapel, I was forced to slow my steps as I followed an elderly couple. He wore a cute hat and held his wife’s hand as they ambled along. It was an image of love that encouraged me. It left me wanting what they have, even though I have no idea who they are.
Young love is appealing in its own way–in the passion, in the ideals, in the dreams, in the hopes of forever, in the rampage of emotions, and the newness of adventure. But old love is reminiscent of iron tempered by fire–it is calmer, it endures, it remains steadfast, and it looks beyond the superficial.
I just love love at every stage, I guess. Just be the lay witness the Lord desires you to be.