Monday, December 4, 2006

A Tribute to Grand Mammy

There's a song that has really struck a chord with me lately. Here are the lyrics:

Seven years old upon my knees
On the third row pew trying to see
My grandmamma sing In the Sweet By and By
It wasn't the sweetest soundin' thing
But there's somethin' about when grandmamma sang
That moved your feet and stirred something up inside

To see her grin from ear to ear
One thing for sure was very clear
This wasn't just a song
It was her life

In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore
In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore

The times have changed to say the least
My grandmamma's voice, a memory
Just like the old song says she's on that shore
And if she's looking down on me
I hope she's proud of what she sees
Cause thanks to her I'm walkin' with the Lord

Oh to hear her once again, Wrap herself around that hymn
Lord, If I could just go back once more

In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore
In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore

There's a land that is fairer than they
By faith we can see it afar
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there
Oh I can hear her, singing along

In the sweet, by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore
We shall meet on that beautiful shore

I love the sweetness of this song. It's recalled many memories for me of my relationship with my (living) Grandmother. Her faith has always been an influence in my life, and this song made me realize how it was yet one more factor in my coming to Christ. In many ways, she is a hero to me. I've admired her love for life, her self-sacrificing love for others, her ability to raise 10 children, her uncanny perception into the needs of people and meeting those needs, her generousity, her craftmanship, I could go on and on. She's not perfect, definitely a sinner and saint, but no sin in her life has made her saintly side any less beautiful and miraculous. She's amazing, yet I can completely relate to her, with all my imperfections. And Christ still shines so brightly, it gives me hope for my own life.

I remember being so nervous one day as she and I took a walk in the country. I mustered the strength to finally ask her if she knew the Lord. I was so relieved when she told me her story, about her faith. From that day as a young adolescent, we have shared a sweet bond not only as family, but as believers, members of God's family. She's a beautiful lady, and I'm so grateful for her presence in my life.

I guess the reason I'm sharing all this is because it helps keep things in perspective. What are the long term goals for your life? Also on the heels of my de-idolizing a future career as being the pinacle of my worth (See 'Thanks to Feminism' blog), I'm realizing more everyday how I hope to have the same success as my grandmother. To have children and grandchildren who walk with Christ, and to know that God gave me a part in that. How incredible would that be?! I have said before that I wanted to have kids, so I can get to the reward: the grandkids! I can't wait to be able to have a relationship where I don't have to be the primary disciplinarian, but can just show affection all the time. And not only that, but as the song's lyrics allude to, and my grandmother is a great example of, I will have the great priviledge of teaching my grandchildren about the Lord. About who He is, and what great things He's done through the ages and in my own life. And it is my ultimate desire to have them fall in love with Jesus, because they know who He really is, through His Word and through my life. That is the success my grandmother has attained with me.

This realization also came through my recent study of Exodus, which cross referenced over to Deuteronomy 6. Here are a few of the verses that have sparked this thought:

(Context: Moses' sermon to God's people before the cross into the land promised by God)

1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life....
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

These are only a couple of the many verses where you see how God places great importance on teaching our children and grandchildren about Him (and His Word). While I've always assumed that this responsibility lay with me and the Church, I'm now realizing it's really more my (and Chuck's) responsibility, and that it includes my grandchildren. I want to be like Timothy's mother and grandmother, whom Paul attributes to him coming to faith. I want to be the one that my grandchildren remember fondly as Bart Millard does in the song above. I want to be like Grand Mammy, loving my grandchildren and giving them a picture of the love and grace of God. Oh how fulfilling it would be to know my family has an accurate understanding and deep abiding love for our amazing God!

Truly there could be no greater joy than to know that my (grand)children are walking in truth. (3 John 1:4) And the sweet by and by reunion will just be the cherry on top!

Mammy showing Chance the birds at the zoo.
Mammy and Chance

1 comment:

Angie said...

Comment from The Thiers &- Blog Archive &- Has it really been a week?:

[...] Then this weekend Chuck was playing in the praise band at church, which meant he would be busy from 12:30 PM Saturday until 1:30 PM Sunday (he plays 4 services for the church). So I took the boys and spent a night with my grandmother, Mammy. (I've written about her before in a previous post). I love visiting her. She taught me to make her delicious chocolate pie (I'll post the recipe at the end if you want it), and showed me her many beautiful flowers. The boys also loved seeing the train go by near her house. My dad, step-mom, sister and brother-in-law also stayed the we had 4 generations under one roof! I wish I would've gotten a picture. [...]