Standing in my kitchen yesterday making homemade noodles, I was reminded of my Grandma. As the smell of the chicken and noodles rose up from the stove, I could picture myself in Grandma's kitchen. Those are sweet memories.
Grandma had a way of making us feel loved and special just by being with her. I have so many wonderful memories of my Grandma, from Sunday dinners, to summertime picnics, to sitting by her side in church. I remember well kneeling beside her in prayer. I didn't always understand everything the worship leader was saying, but I could feel the heart of his prayers.
I learned a lot from my Grandma about love, service, and commitment as I watched the way she taught her Sunday school students, took food to her co-workers, spent time practicing and choosing music for worship, called her friends to check on them, drove my great grandma places, and so generously gave to her grandchildren. She was a thoughtful, Christ-like woman and a wonderful role model.
As I grew older, I of course began to realize Grandma wasn't perfect. But the realizations of her struggles and hardships only served to heighten my admiration for this woman who laid a beautiful example of Christ-likeness before me.
I saw her love and serve her husband even though he didn't always treat her very well. I saw her continue to serve in her church without grumbling even when she heard messages on how "sinful" she was for having short hair. I saw her love her children constantly and consistently even as she saw them leave behind the faith that made her strong. I saw how she made her home so comfortable and inviting even on a farm hand's salary. I know they didn't make much money, but somehow you never felt any kind of sense of need in their home.
She lived out her faith and demonstrated it to all of us in all she did. I really don't remember her telling us about her faith nearly as much as showing us her faith. But, I guess it really is true that actions speak louder than words. Reflecting on her example, I'm encouraged to just keep living out my faith. I'm encouraged to love God with my whole heart, love His church, and love everyone around me.
Thank you, Grandma, for your faithful love. Thank You, my God, for giving me such an excellent example of faith in action.
Now I pray that I will go and do likewise. I pray I will be reminded every day that my whole duty in life is to love God and love others. I pray I will remember that the next generation is watching and learning. I pray I'll remember that a lost and dying world is watching and longing for hope. I pray I will rise to the challenges of this life and meet them head-on armed with faith and the presence of a faithful God.
"Since my youth, O God, You have taught me, and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come." Psalm 71:17-18