For Alice Lakey
My grandmother was called home to be with her Lord on Thursday. Since I can’t be present at the funeral service today, I’ve asked for this to be read aloud:
Today, I honor the godly grandmother that I was blessed to know. In 2 Timothy 1:5, the apostle Paul writes, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” Paul expresses gratitude for the heritage of faith that Timothy received; a heritage passed down from his godly grandmother. In a similar way, I have received a heritage of faith passed down from my grandmother, who remained steadfast in her heart for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I remember her love of life. What a delight it was to see her eyes twinkle as she would laugh! I must confess that I often tried to say something funny just to make her laugh. Her love for life’s good times was fueled by her love for others, especially her family.
I am grateful for the gentle kindness that my grandmother showed to others. Just as she gently held many babies over the years in the hospital maternity ward, her caring hands held me as an infant and held my children too. Over the years, her gentle spirit never faded. I’ve met many other people who harbor resentment or display a harsh spirit as a result of life’s difficulties. But my grandmother did not respond this way; her concern for others seemed only to deepen as she weathered the storms of life.
Through many ups and downs, trials and triumphs, victories and disappointments, her faith endured. The most visible evidence of this was seen during the most difficult season of my life. During nearly two decades of heartache as my father turned from the Lord, my grandmother persisted in prayer. She also persisted in love and in kindness. While many prayed for my father, for family members, and for me during those years, the prayer of my grieving grandmother is something that I will always hold most dear. Her trust in the Lord, offered from a broken heart, was the sweet fragrance of worship.
Among her answered prayers are that my brother and I have remained followers of Jesus. Rather than harboring bitterness and allowing resentment to rule over us, our grief has been turned to gratitude and our pain has become blessing as God faithfully worked even these things together for our good. I am sure that not all of her prayers were answered in the exact way she asked, but her persevering faith endured as God’s faithfulness over time came into view.
My prayer is that I will pass on this heritage of faith to others, especially to my own children and grandchildren. Her example of love, kindness, and persevering prayer is one that I will always remember and strive to emulate. I am grateful to have known her in this life, and grateful for the hope to be reunited with her again in the presence of our Lord Jesus one day.