still alive

This morning as we were gathered at Grandfather’s house, I remembered that it was September and wondered to myself if Grandfather was disappointed or upset that he was still alive. This may seem like an odd thing to wonder about but over the last several months, Grandfather has been telling people that he was going to die in August. I was puzzled when I first heard him saying this as well as a little worried. Why did he think he was going to die and why in August? Where did he get that date from? Evidently believing this “prophecy” was going to come to pass, he began asking Christians who came to visit him to make sure that there was a good turnout at his funeral (he’s an outcast in many ways in his own community and he obviously didn’t think many would attend his funeral).

Full of questions and concerns for him, I asked a Thai-yai Christian friend of mine about what Grandfather had been saying. She smiled and told me that her own father says that sort of thing all the time but he’s still alive and doing relatively well for his old age. Her father has also been a firm believer in Jesus for a couple of decades. My friend told me that it’s just a thing that old people say.

Is it? Is it something that Thai-yai people say when they’re getting on in years? Is it something that old people say all around the world? I’ve never noticed it before when talking with elderly people. I had initially come to the conclusion that perhaps Grandfather had sought information/prophecy from a spirit doctor or someone like that but could it be that he just decided that August would be the month that he’d die?

Now that August has passed, I’m a little curious what Grandfather’s thinking… Will more predictions soon be made? What do you say to a man who is convinced he’s going to die at a particular time? Please pray for Grandfather. Pray too for those of us around him that we’d know best what to say to him and how to encourage him to look forward to living.

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