Americans don't speak much about honoring their elders anymore. What once was an unsaid assumption and even regarded as a biblical mandate is now largely ignored. In a culture which idolizes glamour and sets youth at the forefront in priority, Camila Lima's insight, a 28-year-old who beams about "loving the elderly," is refreshing. Her most recent project involved the photography of a set of Brazilian twins, Maria Pignaton Pontin and Paulina Pignaton Pandolfi, who celebrate their 100th birthday Saturday, May 20th. They plan to celebrate surrounded by family and friends.
Camila had seen the pair first on a local news channel and quickly took the initiative to see if they would be available or even desirous to do the project. The young woman describes her inspiration behind the photoshoot.
“I am in love with the elderly and for about a year I have been developing photos with the elderly. I photograph many young couples, so my love for photographing older couples is a way to inspire younger couples.”
Lima has a photography business, but used her talents in this situation as a tool to show off the beauty that age and wisdom have to offer. The photo-shot was free, and included makeup, dress-up, genuine love, and fun. The remarkable story of two twins who have lived such a relatively lengthy life together is truly amazing.
"I had never met anyone 100-years-old," the young woman declared exuberantly, "let alone twins! I got in touch with their family and offered the photo shoot as a gift."
As to the twins' response, Camila Lima remarks that they performed splendidly and actually enjoyed the process:
“They did everything I asked and did not complain about tiredness.”
The preparation involved a process of two hours, but the sisters were more than obliging. The birthday party will host a total of sixty-five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren between the two.
"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'” I Peter 5:5
It is clear that a Christian attitude, whatever the cultural attitude, is to be one of humility towards our elders. In showing respect for gray hair, we reveal our subjection to the authority of God's Word. This order of things reaps rewards for the obedient, but also spreads a counter-cultural message that there is joy in all stages of life.