One of the (few) ways youth honor adults in the United States is that they are taught to refrain from asking adults their ages. Here, I (Lisa) was a little startled to be asked twice in a day how old I was, around a table full of youth who had clearly appointed their best English speaker to ask what they all wanted to know. I was ever so slightly tempted to say, “In our culture that’s a rude question.” That would have brought them great shame, and I was not really tempted, for it was asked with so much friendly intent. One boy said, when I gave my answer, “You are very well saved.” I loved that! I’ve never warmed to the phrase, “Well-preserved;” it always makes me think of a frog in formaldehyde or at best, a Mason jar of canned plums. They’re not bad but fresh ones are better by far. But well saved--ah, now that has rich theological implications as well as reassuring data retrieval connotations. At my age, I am getting more prone to losing things like keys and glasses; our first day here I left a favorite water bottle on a van. I distressingly promised our van to two different groups for a couple of overlapping days while we are gone. Russian phrases and letters are not finding themselves to be well-saved within the crevices of my cranium. But what’s at the core of me is well-saved indeed, kept by my Keeper, the one who holds my life and numbers every greying hair.
And, as it turns out, I have been well-honored, too, age questions aside. As I sat down the first morning for breakfast, a handsome young man politely insisted that I trade seats with him. Sure, but why? It turned out that I was next to the tea pot, and the younger must serve tea to the older, so he took his place in order to properly serve me. I was touched and honored. Rich was honored by many kind words on the final day of camp. On this journey, we are confident in the one who has saved us and has promised to save us, and when honor comes as well it is a delightful bonus, whatever form it takes.
Rich and Lisa Lamb