Sometimes I feel I need industrial-strength glue or duct tape to hold things together as I navigate this broken world. Life is hard. Perhaps glue and tape could heal all wounds. Maybe it could guard the younger generation from pain and hard times. As a wife, mother, grandma, and friend, there are many times I’m tempted to reach for glue to fix what’s broken. 

Baby Boomers – like me – are now becoming the elders. We often wonder how our kids and grandkids will survive in today’s mixed-up world. Right? We long for the days of our youth, when things seemed easier, safer, and better.

Being an elder can be a sobering task. We have to look for the names of our neighbors and friends in the obituary column every day – right? Go ahead. Admit it – you’ve done it, too. And, one of these days, our names will be there.

But first…I believe we have a lot to offer to the younger generation. We can share wisdom, tolerance, and even grace – all of which seem to be accumulated with age. Perhaps we are the glue that holds our families together. Our encouragement and support are vitally important when given without overstepping boundaries. 

It’s true that some of us glide easily through life with our family firmly intact even as our children grow to adulthood and introduce us to grandbabies. Most of us, however, suffer a few bumps and bruises along the way due to miscommunication, harbored jealousy, or unmet expectations. Even in the strongest of families, grace is a necessity. I call it generational grace.

So, what is grace? Well, one dictionary defines it as unmerited divine assistance. It’s something we don’t deserve. When mentioned in the Bible or lyrics of old hymns, grace is referred to as being a gift from God. I love Romans 11:5 (NLT) where grace is equated with undeserved kindness. No matter the translation, grace in the scriptures is often coupled with kindness, peace, favor, or mercy. All are good things; worthy traits. 

Whenever we extend grace to others, we become more accepting. With grace, the little bumps become more tolerable whether at home or in the workplace. With grace, we are slow to take offense and quick to forgive others. It is grace that helps smooth out the rough spots and keep our relationships healthy.

We who are now among the older citizens on Planet Earth have a remarkable opportunity to offer generational grace to those who are younger. As mentors, parents, and grandparents, we can impact our world by giving grace to those around us. Every. Single. Day.

Somehow, I see generational grace as a better option than glue.

I read a poignant poem recently by Sherah-Leigh Gerber who – thankfully – has permitted me to share it on my blog. I think you’ll find it as beautiful, timely, and perfectly suited as I did. Enjoy!

May God bless you as you hold everything together with generational grace!  

Blessed be the Holders by Sherah-Leigh Gerber

Oh to be a child again

To have a lap to crawl into when the world overwhelms 

To have someone gently rub my back as I drift into sleep

But I am the holder

The lap and the back rubber

Offering whispers of peace

How about Legos? A craft? Play-dough? Apple? String cheese? Banana?

Holding hope in the face of uncertainty

Holding grief and sadness for all the losses

Holding it together

Oh to be a child again

To have someone read aloud chapter after chapter

To have the snacks appear, meals hot and ready at the appointed times

But I am the holder

The reader and the chef

Offering routine and security

Send a card to Grandma? Make a fort? Read a book! Crackers? Kiwi? Popsicle?

Holding the tensions of constraint and possibility

Holding endings, beginnings, and the thresholds in between

Holding it together

Oh to be a child again

But I am the holder

Doing and Being

Holding it together

Holding little hands

Holding space

Holding all things





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