The Herald Bulletin

July 12, 2013

Verna Davis: A prayer for laughter while getting older

Verna Davis
The Herald Bulletin

---- — I'm glad I've never met that Proverbs 31 Woman, for I'm afraid I wouldn't have liked her all that much. Her husband and kids adore her, she knows how to deal with real estate agents, sell her handmade goods, and where to shop for the best deals. She is strong, never idle, and never gets tired. She is always dignified and has a great deal of wisdom and grace.

But there's one thing this woman and I have in common. It's there, tucked away in verse 25. "She can laugh at the days to come."

Well, now that makes me feel better. If it was OK for this perfect woman of great worth to laugh about growing old, then it is OK for me to laugh, too.

So what if I have gray in my hair? So what if I have wrinkles in my face, and even my knees? So what if the older I get, the more lotion I use?

Even my prayers are different now that I am older. All women of a certain age reading this know what I mean, so let's bow our heads and pray this prayer together.

"Heavenly Father, You know I am getting older every day. But, Lord, keep me from acting old. Help me clamp my mouth shut when I am tempted to spout off about how my generation is wiser, harder working, more patriotic, and much more spiritual than the current generation. You know how prideful and boastful that sounds, Lord. Keep my humble when I am old.

"Help me understand that although You have blessed me with a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom, spewing platitudes and un-asked-for advice can offend the very ones I am trying to help. Help me remember that the friends I offend today may be the ones who keep me from being lonely when I am old.

"Help me refrain from listing my aches and pains. Lord, You know how they are increasing in frequency and duration, and my joy in speaking of them is increasing as well. It's important that I remember that 'How are you?' has become merely a form of greeting and not really an inquiry of my physical ailments.

"Help me know that there are occasions when I am mistaken. Let the apologies come fast and humbly. Help me grow sweeter as the days go by, for a cantankerous old woman is an insufferable thing. Help me be holy rather than holier-than-thou, remembering that all Christians are saints. However, keep me from wanting to be a Saint. Those who believe they are Saints with a capital 'S' are so hard to live with (because they are). Help me see good things in people and give me the grace to tell them so.

"Keep me laughing, Lord. For it is with my laughter I exhibit the confidence You have given me. I know I have a hope and a future. I know life is temporary and heaven is eternal. I know there will be laughter in heaven, Lord. Thank You for teaching me to laugh before I get there! Amen."

Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at