This is a devotional I wrote today for a book I’m working on for a 2012 release. But I so enjoyed remembering my grandmother, I thought I’d share it.
“But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then” (Matthew 19:30)
May I tell you about my Grandma Amy? She went to be with the Lord at age 102, and was feisty and funny to the last. The earth has a lot more weeds and dust bunnies without her.
I think you’d call her the salt of the earth. She would do anything for anyone. She and my Grandpa Dick knew how to do just about anything. Between them, they never left a need unmet. They delighted in it. You didn’t have to be a family member, or even a friend. If they heard about a need, you could consider it met.
I’m talking about the kind of need-meeting that got you dirty. Down in the dirt, or under the house, or up on a ladder. That kind of need meeting. Nothing dignified about it. Taking care of sick people, or rocking a tired mother’s fussy baby.
Grandma Amy lived 20 years or so after Grandpa Dick. She only slowed down following bypass surgery in her nineties, and then only on doctor’s orders. Her slowing down looked like my getting busy.
She never owned anything impressive. House, clothes, cars—all modest. She had no formal education. She never had a career. She had nothing that the world measures greatness by. She never pretended to be other than exactly who she was. She said what she thought and never tried to dress it up. If you didn’t want to know her opinion, then you shouldn’t get within ear shot.
Going through her pictures preparing for her memorial service, I ran across hundreds of snapshots my grandfather took of her when they were young. One of those photos he had sent to his parents, and on the back it said, in Grandpa Dick’s familiar scrawl “Isn’t she just as beautiful as I told you?”
I imagined her entrance into heaven. My mind’s eye could see the crowds, jostling and standing on tip-toe to get a glimpse of her. Excited whispers can be heard and they wait with baited breath. She comes into view on Jesus’ arm, sparkling and young again. He shouts, “Isn’t she just as beautiful as I told you?
Jesus, teach me to see as you see. Teach me how true beauty looks and lift my aspirations toward eternity.
“God sees hearts as we see faces.” (George Herbert 1593-1633)