Written by Marchae Grair
"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders...." - 1 Peter 5:5a
There was a catch if my sister and I wanted to ride bikes on that scorching day.
We didn't have any extra hats at my grandmother's house. She wouldn't let us outside without wearing oversized sombreros we received from our respective birthday parties at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
We were already the nerdy kids on the block who rode "driveway to driveway" near my grandma's property, and adding sombreros to our short journey didn't exactly help our street cred.
She won the battle of the wills, and we rode up and down the street as a few older boys laughed at us from a shaded porch, singing the brilliantly-titled, made-up song, "Me and My Sombrero."
And guess what?
I left that bike ride with a smile, no sunburn, and a resolve to keep riding, no matter what the porch bullies of life think about me.
Now, when I look into my grandmother's eyes, I feel an earned trust. She is willing to put her faith in my guidance because I showed a willingness to be obedient to her and trust in her life experiences.
There is a bittersweet role reversal between us as I watch her body and mind fight Parkinson's Disease and dementia, as she trusts my family to take care of her in the last season of her life.
I don't have any sombreros to repay my grandmother for her wisdom and grace, but I hope the laughs and special moments we share will be repayment enough.
God, help me to seek lessons from my elders while building my own authentic truths. Amen.
Marchae Grair is newly UCC and loving it. She is the Social Media Associate for the national setting of the United Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio. She is thankful for her life filled with family, friends, streamed television, and pocket-sized pups.