Ladies, it is high time I introduce you to my grandma June, my mother’s mother to be exact. There is so much I want to tell you about her as she was quite the lady. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as I write about her this month and how she lived out her love for Jesus.
I think of my grandma June when I read what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:5, “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.” Grandma June is my Lois so to speak and I see the linking of faith through our generations. Faith in Christ cannot be inherited like blue eyes or big noses, but it sure can be taught and witnessed as it is lived out.
Let me draw you a quick picture of my grandma June to help you better understand her. Grandma June grew up in poverty with many brothers and sisters during the years of the Great Depression. I remember stories of eating orange peels that were thrown out as trash alongside the roadside. Her first husband fought in WWII and came home a different man. He had met someone else and left June on her own with three young children to raise. She worked hard as a nurse at the Veterans Hospital to support them.
Grandma June as I knew her was short and plump and fashion was way low on her priority list. She was not a delicate flower and if I called her that she would laugh at me. She loved family and telling stories and had an ornery streak about her.
Grandma June gave big, tight, busty hugs and talked of smothering when it was hot out (they had no AC). She canned a lot, was thrifty and loved to give tube socks as Christmas gifts (oh so many years of tube socks!). She made pies better and faster than anyone I have ever known. She had a big garden and grew… so… many… tomatoes. She carried a huge purse that weighed more than I did and she kept large quantities of tissues in her bra for whenever she or anyone else might need one.
My grandma lived through many trying years; you may think she would be a little bitter or even angry. Yet, she was quite the opposite. Grandma June was full of the joy of the Lord. I have never seen someone so in love with Jesus as that woman. She lived out Nehemiah 8:10, “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
She would often suddenly break into singing hymns, all of which she knew by heart. Or she would out of nowhere begin to recite memorized portions of scripture. Sometimes I would just hear her utter the name of Jesus over and over as she thought on him. It was obvious that during her years of struggle she had learned to hold fast to God and to trust in him to take care of her.
Her smile was never just a smile, it was a barely contained laugh ready to burst out. To know June was to know the joy of Christ. She hid nothing about her relationship with Jesus and told others about him as often as she could and as much as they allowed her to. She prayed for those in need and shared the burdens of others. Wow, how she prayed.
“Glamorous” would not describe Grandma June as you can clearly see from what I have shared, but she was certainly glorious to me. The treasure of Jesus shined out of her like no one else I have ever known. She was a living example of Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” And one of my favorites, 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” Grandma June was not concerned with appearances, fashion or staying ahead of the crowd, she would gladly boast of her weaknesses if Christ could shine through them.
In this modern society, even today’s modern church, we often confuse glamour for glory. We gladly assume the appearance of knowledge of Jesus instead of the glory of living a life sold out and madly in love with him. Don’t shoot for your religion to be socially acceptable or comfortable for others. Aim to passionately serve the Lord whole heartedly no matter what that looks like.
Grandma June left a legacy of faith behind for her family to remember. Do the same in your life, teach future generations to love and follow the Lord. Teach them by living it out yourself.