Saturday, November 1, 2008


"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." --2 Corinthians 5:1-10

"It was like this. The tree which sprang from the Apple that Digory planted in the back garden, lived and grew into a fine tree. Growing in the soil of our world, far out of the sound of Aslan's voice and far from the young air of Narnia, it did not bear apples that would revive a dying woman as Digory's Mother had been revived, though it did bear apples more beautiful than any others in England, and they were extremely good for you, though not fully magical. But inside itself, in the very sap of it, the tree (so to speak) never forgot that other tree in Narnia to which it belonged." --from The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

I had the honor and privilege of seeing my Granny go home to be with Jesus last week. I never loved her or my heavenly Father more than I did in those last few moments of her life. In His sweet way, He allowed my father, my sister and me, our children and other family to be gathered around my Granny as she ended her sojourn here. Four generations of people who love Jesus, in large part because of her doing.

How do I choose which lesson to share from her life and death? There are so many. I believe I will share this one. Let me begin this way...

All my life, Granny meant love to me. I remember burrowing under the covers in her old feather bed next to her and being enveloped in her softness and warmth. She fed me chicken and dumplings, blackberry dumplings, and a host of other delicacies I'll never experience again; not like that. Granny showed me how to plant food, pick it and shuck it, shell it or peel it, whichever was necessary.

She was a simple woman of no means and yet I've never met anyone as content as she was with her lot in life. She bloomed where she was planted, you might say. Granny loved to tell me stories of her girlhood, though her girlhood was short-lived. At a very young age, she raised her brothers and sisters after both her parents died. Granny talked of cotton fields and flour sack dresses. Tomato gravy and biscuits. Making do and living decent. And she gave me mints and gum out of her purse during church, but only if I was doing right.

As I walked into her hospital room last week and put my hand on her arm, it was wet. Her skin was breaking down and weeping, my aunt explained. And I thought to myself, though maybe this is not biblical, "Her spirit is trying to get out of this old body. Her spirit is complete and this old body can't hold it anymore. It's fairly busting at the seams to go Home." She got out of that old body a few hours after I arrived. We were very happy for her.

...So, about that lesson. While we are here on this earth, if we are God's, we make it our goal to please Him. We live by faith, not by sight. We bear apples more beautiful than any in the world, and we are extremely good for people, though we are not fully "magical". But in our spirits, in the very sap of us, we never forget that other place to which we belong and long to return. We long to be home with the Lord.

My Granny was magical. She made me want to be magical - like Jesus. So her lesson to me was that most simple and, dare I say, magical of the catechisms. What is our chief end? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. She did and she is. Praise the Lord.
Father, thank you for the gift of my Granny and others like her who have shown me glimpses of You, and who make me long for Home. I greatly look forward to the day when we all gather around Your table at the greatest family reunion ever. Help me walk by faith until then and be "magical". Amen.


Kimberly said...

Jennifer.. this is very touching and moving. I am not even able to put into words what this does to my heart! I'm going to use some of the scripture you shared to create a new blog entry... I've not totally figured it all out yet...
I love when God inspires me... I feel so alive! Thank you for sharing!

Mainly a midwife said...

Thank you for sharing this. I was at work..reading it with tears in my eyes. Your Granny sounds wonderful. I'm sorry you had to say goodbye to her but I'm so glad that you all got to be there with her.

Talkin' Texan said...

I'm sorry for your loss but smile over heaven's gain. I lost my Granny in July. I share your heart. (My post about my Granny is not as precious as yours but come back and check it out. Look in July titled Granny. It may make you smile.) Thanks for stopping by today and leaving your comment.
Blessing to your family.