Do Jack and Jill Live Down the Street?

written by Sherry Schumann
7 · 25 · 22

Let me introduce Jack and Jill. You knew them as children, toting a pail of water up a hill. They are grandparents now, and their loads are much greater.

Jack’s world is a juggling act. At the age of sixty, he works a fifty-hour week, cares for his mother who has dementia, makes time for his two grown daughters and their three children, serves as a church elder and tries to offer his wife something more than a tired, “Hello, honey. What’s for dinner?” He is painfully aware that, while his intentions are good, he falls short, repeatedly. 

Jill is a member of one of the largest growing demographics in the United States. She is a single grandmother raising four grandchildren who were abandoned by their parents for a world of drugs. She worries about stretching her Social Security check to the next month. Each evening is a wrestling match, as she oversees homework, irons clothes and checks to make sure her grandchildren washed behind their ears. It’s been months since she took her grandchildren to church. 

Both believe Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:30: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Still, both are exhausted.

Jack longs for someone to listen to him without judging him a complainer. He wishes for someone to care for his mother, so he can watch his grandson’s t-ball game.

Jill needs someone to bring over a home cooked meal, help her with carpool, tutor her oldest grandchild in math, fold a load of laundry, or sit in the pew with them on Sunday mornings.  (Members of her church seem to scatter when she arrives on Sunday mornings with her grandkids.)

Jack and Jill may live up the hill, down the street, or even in our own homes. Christ calls us to be His Body, helping these grandparents, who like the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill, shoulder burdens too heavy for them to carry. 

Christ said: “Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,
you did it to me,” (Matthew 25:40).

It’s time we consider that the “least of these” may be a fellow grandparent.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus,

Praise you. You are Yahweh Jireh, the Lord Who Provides. 

You love to provide through the hearts of willing servants. Please forgive us for ignoring opportunities to serve fellow grandparents. Please soften our hearts to serve sacrificially.

Our churches and communities, even our own homes, are filled with grandparents who are stumbling under a heavy burden of responsibility. Please open our eyes to the various ways we can help them carry their loads. Let us act and speak in a loving manner, not condescending nor authoritative. Let us love purely, as You love us.

In Your Precious Name,

Amen. 

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Sherry Schumann

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