The Old Man In The Squad Car

April 26, 2018
Volume 22, Number 16

Folks in Montoursville, Pennsylvania who saw the police car escorting their 84-year-old neighbor may have been shocked. What had this old man done to have police come and pick him up? But this isn’t a story about a shocking crime; it’s about human compassion.

The man’s wife had been taken by ambulance to a hospital in Williamsport about four days before. The man longed to see his wife, but his health no longer allowed him to drive. He therefore called the local police department to ask if they could help.

Police Chief Jeff Gyurina heard the old man’s request, and gave him the cell phone number for one of their patrol cars. The call came after a few hours, and the couple were able to spend some time together. Gyurina explained: “it’s a small town so you try to help out when you can.”

That is just the sort of story we need to hear more often! We’re awash in headlines of crime, greed, and terrorism; we sometimes wonder what has happened to our world. It’s good to be reminded that there is still a lot of good out there.

The writer of Psalm 71:9 speaks for many who have reached their “golden years”: “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails.” Sadly, such is the experience of many older folks; they feel pushed aside, forgotten. Have they outlived their value to society?

The Bible affirms the enduring value of senior citizens: “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31). A similar statement is found in Proverbs 20:29: “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head.” To disregard the value of the elderly is to disregard the value of God’s word!

God’s word calls upon us to show honor to those who have been slowed by time: “You shall rise before the gray headed, and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32). Though her vitality may have been diminished by the years, her value certainly has not been.

Why does an old man have to call the police for a ride to visit his wife at the hospital? If we pay attention to people around us we’ll see many situations where we could practice our faith. This is just what Paul urges in Titus 3:8: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”

There are opportunities nearby to honor to the elderly. Let us help one another.

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

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