Remembering can be tricky. I think I was about 8 years old when I used to walk along the country road with Papa. He walked very slowly, but it may have just been that I walked so much faster. The days were always sunny and warm when I visited my grandparents, and there were so many flowers to pick for Grandma. I just knew she would be standing at the door waiting for Papa and me to return, to hug me, thank me, and put them in a vase. Each visit was a gift from God. As well, remembering that Grandma often said, “Wait On The Lord,” has become a phrase very close to my heart.
If I could visit at the right time of year, Grandma took me to Vacation Bible School at the little church—it was one room about the size of my living room now! The woman who taught the lessons scared me with her fire and brimstone edicts of her Biblical interpretations. Even saying “Holy Cow” was a sin. When I said “gosh” one day, she told me with absolute assumed authority that I was going straight to H---, no two ways about it! Grandma whispered in my ear, “It’s OK, don’t listen to her.”
When “that woman” gave the prayer, she ended with a question--who wanted to be saved. With head bowed and eyes closed as instructed (following rules was very important, especially in church), I raised my hand to signify that I wanted to be saved. At that time, Grandma must have been at least 50, but she was fast on her feet. Beside me in an instant, she coaxed me forward to receive a blessing and be saved. My burning question to her: “Grandma, did you have your eyes open!?”
Grandma knew all the books of the Bible, and she recited them anytime I asked. They were said as one very long word with no breaths between, and all took less than 30 seconds start to finish. Grandma was very smart. And, Grandma loved God. She showed me her favorite passages, and we read the Bible together every time I was there.
No doubt, I remember some details a little differently than what really happened, but I do remember that Papa and Grandma were devout Christians, shared their faith with others, and loved their family unconditionally. When old enough, I learned that Papa had Parkinson’s disease. He really did walk very slow, but God gave him the strength to walk with me. The “flowers” I picked were really weeds, but God made them special in Grandma’s eyes.
I’m glad God accepts our faults, gives us memories of comfort, and loves us even when we give Him weeds.