My Grandmother has been sitting in the shadows of a life once lived with brilliant light for some time now. I cannot express the pain one feels while watching a life…and a light…they have always looked towards…slowly dim.
My beautiful Grammie had spent most of her years as a ministers wife in a little ol’ town far from the place she had once blossomed and grown. She embraced her new life…her new home…wholeheartedly. There was work to be done…There were hearts to set ablaze with her undeniable Christ light. She loved and cared for each and every member of the congregation…but it was the children…the “cherubs”…that she truly cherished the most. She poured every ounce of herself into making each child…rich or poor…broken or whole…feel like they were special…because they were.
There have been so many times my heart has longed to be reignited by the kind of hope and purpose my Grandmother once burned into it. She challenged me…She pushed me into places that I didn’t want to go…She stretched my heart (painfully at times;) so that it would have room for the lost and for the weary…and for the children….”Don’t forget the children”.
So often I have prayed that I could challenge…and push…and stretch my own children in the same way I once was. More often I have prayed that my Grandmother could emerge from her shadow for even just a moment to speak that kind of hope and purpose into my children’s hearts for herself…and for myself. God does indeed answer prayers…
Over the weekend my husband and I spent time at a marriage retreat while my children got to have their very own retreat…at their Grandparent’s house…The best kind of kid retreat out there. When it came time to pick them up we got to hear all about the wonderful time they had of course…but then…my Mother looks at me and says “Well…If you don’t have a tissue you may need to go get one.” My Mother knows me well;) She then proceeds to tell me of a miracle…A completely unexpected answer to a hope and purpose filled prayer.
This last week my Grandmother fell and broke her hip. Although this was her second break in 6 months she went through surgery beautifully. Those Minnesota farms girls are certainly a whole different kind of resilient. My parents had decided to take my children to go and see Grandma Ruby. There they were joined by more family…and flooded her hospital room with all the love it could hold.
When it was time to say goodbye everyone gave Grammie kisses and hugs…and exchanged I love yous. Then came Jonah’s turn. As he went up to give my Grandma a kiss she firmly grabbed his arm and with great clarity looked him in the eye and spoke the words I so desperately wanted him to hear. “You are a special boy. Don’t you let anyone tell you different!” Jonah then kisses her goodbye and tells her that he loves her…completely unaware of the miracle.
You see my children have always been able to see and feel her love. Her love light has yet to go out…and I pray that it never does…But it was her words…Those beautiful simple words that had been long lost in the darkness. God knew just how deeply I needed that light to be shown on that little boys face. He knew how it would reignite my own heart with hope and purpose.
He allowed me to once again hear and understand the miracle of this simple message my Granmother spoke of time and time again…I am special…You are special…Because of God’s great hope and purpose in us…and for us….and because Grandma Ruby said so! May we never let anyone tell us different!!
Psalm 18:28 “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”