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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.

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>How to Show Love

>The other night, as I was praying with my 9 year old daughter at bedtime, I tried to think of how to convey just how much I love her. With her teen years on the horizon, this seems extremely important right now. I usually ask a certain familiar question, “Do you know how much I love you?” The usual reply is “To the moon and back,” or “All the way to infinity.” My reply is always “Even more than that.” We’ve been saying that to each other for years.

But she is growing up right before my eyes, and I know that her need to be known and loved is growing too. So, aware of my responsibility to model authentic love, I took the conversation one step further:

“What can I do that will show you how much I love you?”
“Hmmmm…you could run a hundred miles for me, because that’s how far you love me?”
(That sounded like a variation of ‘to the moon and back.’) I asked, “So if I run a hundred miles, you’ll feel loved?”
“No,” she admitted.
“What can I do so that you’ll know I love you?”
“Hmmmm…you could charge up my iPod for me.”
We both laughed.
“OK,” I said. “iPod it is.”
We prayed, I kissed her on the forehead, and we said good-night. I took her iPod off her desk on the way out. The next day, as she was listening to Audio Adrenaline, she smiled at me.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Jeremiah 31:3. All the way to infinity…the iPod charging dock is just a stop along the way.