A Beautiful Faith

In the wee hours of this morning, when it was still dark outside, the phone rang. Everyone knows that can't possibly be good news -- that only happens when someone has died.

Sure enough, the caller ID displayed my parents' phone number in California. I answered the call in abject terror, worried that my beloved Dad, with his many health problems, had suddenly passed away. I was simultaneously relieved and chastened to hear that it was not my father but my grandmother on my mother's side, the last of my surviving grandparents, who had passed away.

In a way, the relief went beyond knowing that my Daddy was fine. The relief was also a sense of joy and thankfulness that my grandmother had finally gone to be with the Jesus she had devoted her entire life to. For years, she had been little more than a prisoner in her own body. Her mind was unreliable, her body compromised, and she could participate in none of the things that had made her life worth living since her husband had cruelly left her so many years before. In September, I had done all but move heaven and earth to see her with my sixteen-month-old son at the rest home where she resided in California. I knew full well it may be the last time I or my son would ever see her, but the reality didn't hit me until it was fully true, at 6 this morning, whem my Mom told me Nana had gone to be with Jesus.

But oh, how happy I am for her! This is a woman who spent her entire life serving others for His sake. When I think back to my childhood, so many of the best memories are of times I spent with my Nana. She tried so hard to pass on her strong faith to us. Hours were spent watching Bible stories with her on video, attending Church with her, and participating in something her church called Pathfinders, which was like a scouting program for boys and girls.

By the time my little sister and I were born, she had already given all of her financial resources to send our older cousins through private Christian school and college. So she packed up her things and moved two hours north to the town we were raised in so she could be there for us. And oh, how she was. So many hours were spent swimming with her at the pool. While my mother, ever self-critical despite her supermodel looks, sat on the pool deck fully clothed, my 5'2", 200 lb. grandma would jump into the pool with us in a bathing suit and swim cap. We swam with her, walked with her, dined with her, camped with her in exciting locations! I don't know what her relationship with my older cousins was like before we were born, but I think that if they got the money, and we got her time, attention and love, then we got the better end of the deal, without question.

But Nana is gone now. Gone to be with the Jesus she loved so much. I hope he is reassuring her now. She was a Seventh Day Adventist, and I know she was concerned that my mother's, my father's, and us kids' salvation was in jeopardy because we didn't keep a Saturday Sabbath. I hope the Jesus I love, and she loves, will tell her now that we love Him so much, and we love her so much, and we will see her in heaven one day.

In the meantime, enjoy heaven, Nana. You've waited your whole life for this. I hope you were filled with unspeakable gratitude and joy when He said to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry for the loss of your grandmother! She sounds like a wonderful person.

Enjoying your blog very much. You are a talented writer.

--Anne in VA

10/21/2005 06:52:00 PM  

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