Please God, Do You Hear Our Prayer?
By Ronald W. Parkinson

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
Psalm 71:9

Please God, do you hear our prayer?

We are your elderly.
Weak and frail, from every
country, nation and land.
We have Dementia, Alzheimer's,
Parkinson, and Lou Gehrig's disease.
But for many we just grew old.
We know no color, no race,
no border or political stand.
We are your children from every land.

Out of our homes
they take as each day
and place us in institutions
so far away.

We committed no crime
nor broke any law.
Too weak to fight
who will plead our cause.

Our trust they betray.
Sign this paper, and all your
God-given rights
we will take a way.

A fifteen minute
Doctor’s visit today.
then all our freedom
taken away.

Please Lord,
How could they know
in such short time?
It could have been
a drug reaction or medication,
an infection or malnutrition,
vitamin deficiency, or thyroid disease
or depression,
that caused our confusion
or forgetfulness that day.

A Do Not Resuscitate order signed
the very first day
your gift of choice
taken away.

Given so many tranquilizers
from the first day
our identity is
slowly stolen away.

No oxygen for a body in distress.
No IV for nourishment.
No ventilatory support.
No disfibulatory for a body
that cries for a little help.
We could have lived
another 20 years.

No medicine again today.
Does anyone know?
Does anyone care?
Are we the forgotten man?

Our doctors say
no salt for our blood pressure,
no sugar for our diabetes,
no fat for our cholesterol
or heart disease.
A soft diet when
we can no longer chew.
Oh God,
why do they
feed us
all the same meal?

We may often cry.
Depression may set in.
Anger we may also feel.
Is it so hard to see
it may not be
old age or a disease at all?

Our freedom gone.
Our family we rarely see.
They talk and treat
us as a child.
Please God,
why did this happen
to me?

Please father,
if you would
help us understand
why our poorest and
oldest of nations
have learned their
elders are the
most honored and respected
in their land?

Some locked out
of our room each day.
No place to rest
or lay our head.

Some locked in
our rooms.
Loneliness and isolation
we must face.
If a fire
should start,
we would
surely die.

From the very first day
they try to keep our
children away.
No compassion at all.

Oh lord, our Lord,
we don't want to be
a burden on family or friend.
But could you ask them
to check on our safety
now and then?

They say we live
in a different decade.
But that's okay.
That's not a bad place to be.
Our spouses are still by our side.
Our children are near too.
We are safe in our own home.
We have our freedom too.
Our strong chord
not yet broken.
God is here too.

Each day our young
sons and daughters from
each generation and every nation
give their lives
for this freedom that
is so easily taken.

We live in fear
so many days.
Will an overworked caregiver
or another resident
hurt us today?

Our injuries will start small.
They will record them as injuries
of unknown origin.
As they get worse they won't
record them at all.
Our children are told
no pictures of our
injuries at all.

They say we need
24-hour skilled nursing care.
If you visit off hours,
you will find this is so rare.

They stand at a distance
and say “If they don't eat,
take their plate away.”
Oh God,
please teach everyone
the meaning of apraxia today.

Used to call
my sons each day
then they took
my phone away.

We will follow
you to the door
and beg.
Please take us home.
Home was a place
of love, family, safety,
and we had a purpose too.

They check on us
every hour or more.
That is eternity
when you're lying
on that hard floor.

The same halls
we walk a hundred times a day.
No hope for a future.
No future at all.

Marched down the hall
each week
striped naked by a stranger
and placed in a common shower.
The shame and humiliation
we must bare.

Each day we pray
“Please Father
could you send us
a visitor today?
We have so few
behind these locked doors.
We are happy to share.
Please Father,
just send one visitor today.”

Many of us will retain
our social skills almost to the end.
Our hearts long to visit family
and be part of a community again.

We are very much like
a loose lightbulb.
Sometimes we may not shine so bright.
Other times we shine like a
star in a dark night.
Our salt still has good taste.
Our good soil still has much
to grow.
Everlasting Father,
do you hear our prayer?

Many of us will die
from lack of love.
This is called
failure to thrive.

Our short-term memory gone.
Long term may not work that well.


But...
.

We remember freedom
when we could come
and go as we pleased;

We remember family
that was always near
and we could visit
when we please;

We remember our homes,
we were safe
day or night;

We remember when
God and family
were the most
important things in life;

We remember when you
defended the weak
and watched out
for the poor;

We remember that
the orphans and widows
you must defend;

We remember when
you always welcomed
a stranger at your door;

We remember that
our children we would
give our lives for;

We remember when
we were included
in family decisions;

We remember when
we were always
invited to a Sunday
or holiday dinner;

We remember the
touch of a gentle hand.

We remember the sound
Of a kind word spoken.

We remember what it
was like to visit
an old friend and
talk about when
we were young;

We remember a
child's birthday
would make our heart glow;

We remember that
there are many ways
to settle a dispute
besides war.

Please Lord God,
do you hear our prayer?
We want so much more
for the generations
that follow.


And God answered…

To all my elderly
from every nation, land and tongue.
I have heard your prayers.
I have seen your tears.
I have seen all the wrong
done behind those locks doors.
All your hairs are numbered.
I know you all by name.
It's in the palms of my hands.
I will plead your cause.


And God spoke…

To all my children
from every nation, land and tongue,
I am called by many names
by many nations and tongues,
even an unknown God by some.
I am the beginning and the end,
the first and the last,
the Father of heaven and
earth and all living things.
And I made you
all the same.

Is there one among you
that thinks their house
can't be divided
three against two,
and two against three?
That a trusted friend,
which did share your bread,
could lift his heel
against you?

Is there one among you
who thinks wealth, power,
and human wisdom
can keep you from sickness, disease, and old age?
Or deliver his soul
from the grave?

That know when
there hour will come?
That knows whether
love or hate awaits them?
That can contend with
one stronger than they?
Is there one among you
that would be here today
if it were not for
the love of the generations
that came before you?

Who can say
I won’t need
the help of
his fellow man?
No, there is
not one.

When a child is born
they have no memory at all.
No jealousy or hatred for
their fellow man.
For they are all
descendents from
the first man.

They know not
family or friend.
They cannot speak,
not even a word.
Or remember
what you just said.
They cannot understand
time or place.
They cannot eat,
not one bite.
They must be fed.
They cannot walk,
not one step.
They cannot write,
not one word.
They cannot survive,
not one day
without the love
of their fellow man.

As your elders prepare
to leave this world
it is as their beginning.
They cannot survive,
not very long,
without the love
and help of their
fellow man.

Teach your children
and their children,
a friend, a stranger
from each generation
and every nation,
that their life also will soon pass.
That life is a vapor, a mist,
as grass or flowers in a field.
Here today and gone tomorrow.
That there is only one God
and he made you all the same.

Take a minute
and listen to a baby cry
of a different tongue.

Watch children play
of  different colors.

Think of the people from
different nations and different colors.

They defend
and serve their nation.

They work and provide
for their family.

They teach their children
right from wrong
and all about God.

Is it so hard
to see
I made you
all the same?

One nation has no advantage over another.
One color has no advantage over another.
One tongue has no advantage over another.
All have the same breath.
As one dies, so does the other.

For the wise man, like the fool,
will not be long remembered;
in days to come both will be forgotten
like the fool, the wise man
too must die.

That all will stand
before me on that final judgment day.
Not one can hide.
That by your
words and deeds
you will be judged.
Where will you
spend eternity?

Imagine what the world
could be if you knew
that hate is not from God.
That is something taught by man.

That I made you all the same.
And when I ask
who will go for me
and you stand and say
“I will, send me, ”
I will stand and defend and protect
the elderly, just as I do
a very young.  I will visit
them and help all I can.
I will welcome them in my home.
I will listen to all the wisdom they have to share.

I will pray each day
“Please God, give me
a heart to love and help my fellow man.”

And God said...

“I give you this question,
that all will be asked
on that judgment day,
that will determine
where you spend eternity.
How did you treat
your fellow man?”

What example will
you leave your children,
their children, a friend,
a stranger, this world
today.

How would you
answer this question
if I came today?