Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Tribute to Grandma Millie


On January 19, 2004, just a few days shy of her 72nd birthday, my Grandma Millie passed away. Last year I wrote this devotional thought on her birthday. I often think of the many things going on in my life I wish I could share with her especially now that I’m here. I can just hear her now bragging to all her church friends that she has a granddaughter who is a missionary in Africa. So thanks for letting me share this tribute to her with you again this year. Happy Birthday Grandma!

The other day a friend asked me what my favorite memory of my grandma was. At the time it was too painful to talk about, but I’ve had a memory that has been ruminating…

May I share it with you?

Most of you didn’t get to meet my Grandma Millie. For the most part, she was the typical grandma. A bit taller than me. A perfect coifed updo. A physique slightly softened by age.

This is my favorite memory…When I would walk through the porch and into my grandparents’ house, I’d always yell, “Hi grandma.” Inevitably, I would hear the shuffle of her slippers as she’d come dashing down the hallway and around the corner into the living room. She’d be so excited to see me. I’d get a big, warm, soft hug. I’d take in the smell of Mary Kay, Aquanet, and a hint of ode d’mothball. Then she’d pull back just a bit, put my big chubby cheeks in her hands, gaze deep into my face with all the love a good grandma can muster and she’s say, “aw, there she is, my beautiful granddaughter.” Now, I’m not saying this to brag; grandma’s often see their own kind of beauty. But there are few other things that make me feel as special, as loved and as invincible; the unconditional love of a grandma.

Now, most of you that know me well, know that I don’t sermonize often. Maybe it’s finally my seminary training kicking in or I’ve eaten one to bran muffins before trying to go to sleep, but I feel a burning need to share my devotional thought on my grandma’s birthday…

I have a Jesus that can put my big chubby cheeks in His hands, gaze as deeply into my face, and say with as much love as any good grandma, “there she is, my beautiful child.”

To this day, when I walk into her house, I still half-expect to hear the slipper-shuffle coming down the hall and see her turn the corner. Some days I could use my grandma to remind me that I’m loveable. I’m sure you could too.

This hasn’t been an easy year for many of us. We’ve lost loved ones, lost direction, had broken relationships, financial strains, struggles with schoolwork and self-esteem… wondering if we’re loveable. And I want to remind you, we have a Jesus that can take our face is His hands and show us His unconditional love; the love that sent Him to Calvary for us.

5 comments:

Lexi said...

I miss you, Jess. I hope you're enjoying life over there!

KAR said...

Jess, good to hear from you again. Sounds like you are having some wonderful adventures. We miss you here. I am so proud of your courage and desire to serve in this way. As always, I will continue to pray for your well-being, safety and God's will to be done.
p.s. did a package ever arrive for you?

KAR said...

P.S. I am jealous you got to see the hippos in the river on your boat ride. You know how often I was out there at 5 a.m. in the mornings trying to see one of them. You go girl! :)

mama said...

you are right about grandma!!!!She was a big inspiration to me also as a mother!!! , You have given her much honor by all that you do. She and the Lord are so pleased with you . Mom

Becca said...

what an amazing thought! How neat it is that Jesus' love can be analogized to the love of anyone we've lost and really miss and it not only comforts us but then teaches us even more about Christ's love in the process!! I miss you!!