Posted by: Jo | October 15, 2022

The Grandmother’s Bench

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long-life bring understanding?”

(Job 12:12)

I read a very sweet story, about a small village in India. It was the custom for elderly ladies to take turns to sit on a bench in the center of the village, where the villagers knew that anybody who was troubled or needed somebody to talk to, could seat themselves next to the old lady. She would listen to them and they would be able to share whatever was troubling them. I was very touched by this story and as I live in an apartment building in a busy part of town, I wondered how that could be duplicated here. One of my old friends who lives nearby, but in a neighborhood and in her house for many years has found a wonderful way to bring similar joy to her surrounding neighbors. With her walker she seats herself in the front of her house, sits down and greets anybody who walks along her street. She waves and smiles at cars that pass by, talks to anybody who stops and is generous with smiles to all passersby. Recently a car stopped and told her that when he sees her it brightens his day to see her smile. What a wonderful way to fulfill God’s directive 

“…but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19: 18)

God spoke these words through Moses in the Old Testament to give the children of Israel this lasting command to emphasize the importance of bringing love to others and again Jesus tells all who would follow him that this command was still of utmost importance, immediately following his directive to love the Lord God he says. 

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12: 31)

We may not be old or a grandmother, but these examples can make us ponder how we could in our own communities, wherever they are, live this command. Even smiles in the elevator of a big apartment building, helping old people to get through difficult doorways, helping young mothers with babies in a stroller, being aware of old people shut in small apartments who would love a visit, lifting stressed check out staff by thanking them, the reward for us when we do this is the warm smile we receive in return. 

The list is endless and strangely enough when we practice it gives us a warm feeling and we sometimes hear a faint whisper, 

“Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25: 21)

When someone does seek us out to share a problem it is good to take the advice of God’s word to handle it his way, beginning with perhaps a quick silent prayer asking the Lord to give us his wisdom. 

“The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 9: 17)


  1. Thank you Jo for finding those biblical references so relevant to us oldies. Just being there for our neighbours, friends and family is as you say so important – but we do need to pray for wisdom as you say. Can’t assume it comes with the years! You keep us focused.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely commentary, Jo, on a dear friend. Not sure who benefits the most though i think I can guess! thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely blog Jo. Thank you. It’s amazing how a smile, a wave, a little act of kindness can lift the day of the giver and the receiver.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That part about the woman and the walker is a great idea.

    I love to say hello to all passers by or wave to folks in cars. It makes their days.

    Liked by 1 person

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