A recent Sunday’s Psalm caught my eye. Psalm 92, in particular verses 12 and 14. “The righteous flourish like the palm tree”….”they bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.”
I was taught at a young age to show honor and respect for my elders – those who’d gone before me, who had experiences in life before me, who learned, sometimes the hard way, the lessons they spent time teaching me so I would not have the same hardships. Their ‘sap and green’ was something I had to learn to listen to as a child, appreciate as a young adult, lean on as a young professional and learn from as I now become someone who others may at times call “the old guy”. As I thought about the verse, I thought about our mission - who we serve, how we serve and why we serve. ‘Sap and green’ looks like ‘independence, wellness and spiritual life’ in the words of our mission statement. ‘Sap and green’ is the LIFE that we share as we serve ‘As an expression of Christ’s love.’ The result is ‘flourishing palm trees’ of life all around us.
At LLV there are always many moving parts. People. Buildings. Equipment. Personalities. Priorities. You name it. In 2018, it’s a large renovation project at The Village at Anthony Boulevard that includes a rehab renovation, a memory care renovation and new air conditioning in the health center. It involves staff changing their routines, residents changing their homes and families adapting to change. It’s also the development of a new community focused on active older adults called Piper Trail. Piper Trail stretches and extends our mission in new ways to support the many facets of wellness to a new group of individuals who seek the be a part of our organizational mission and vision. In addition, through all of this, our staff continues to develop their skills; be that through Memory Care Ambassador Training, technical training or further education achievements in nursing and other job related fields. At LLV there are always many moving parts. There are many opportunities to be ‘flourishing palm trees’.
When I think about the ‘sap and green’ that David references from “the righteous” in Psalms, I can’t help but think about the conversations I’ve had with residents about their lives and the wisdom shared in bits and pieces along my nine plus year journey at LLV. I can’t help but think about the board members who have been a part of this organization’s growth. I can’t help but think about the work that our volunteers put in year after year to support our residents and staff. And I can’t help but think of the staff members who share their stories and lives with their co-workers and residents and their families as we all work together to serve at Lutheran Life Villages. By God’s grace, people have been served for over 87 years through Lutheran Life Villages.
At LLV, we get excited because God has created us blameless in his sight through the forgiveness given through his son’s death and resurrection. Through Christ, we are all, as David says in his psalm, “ever full of sap and green” that we may “flourish like the palm tree.” Palm trees stand tall. Palm trees are sometimes alone, but sometimes in clusters. They have a strong trunk and flourish at the top to provide shade and protection from the heat of the day. They capture the rain and the sun as they are fed and in turn provide respite for those under its branches. Be a flourishing palm tree today for those in your life, sharing your sap and green with those around you. After all, why not?