Many of us today are frightened. We are anxious. We are needy. We are weary. I say ‘we’ because it makes me feel like I’m not alone. I also happen to know a few people who fall into this category with me. At times like these, we can try to find comfort in the wrong places, but where we really need to find our comfort and our strength is in Jesus. We need to look past the things of this world sometimes, no matter how appealing the gadgets may seem. Let’s find our faith-filled role models and look up.
My grandma, Barbara, was a gentle and humble woman and I loved her. She was one of my faith-filled role models for everything that she did, everything that she stood for, and everything that she wasn’t. Barbara wasn’t up on technology…of any kind. Granted, there wasn’t the onslaught of devices and social media and the like but my grandmother, in 1985 still watched a black and white TV. Some of you may not even know what that is. I’ll give you a minute to go look in your picture app on your phone to see the black and white setting. Now you understand. Her belief was that everything looked just fine in “living black and white”. Quote directly attributed to her. I lived with Grandma Barbara for a short time between high school and college and we watched M*A*S*H* reruns every night as well as the 4, 5, and 6 o’clock news programs in said black and white. Before living with her, I was blessed to get to have sleepovers with both her and my great grandmother and we watched The Love Boat and Fantasy Island on that awesome TV. But, you know what? My brain doesn’t remember anything being wrong with that grayscale. It was perfect and every nuance and meaning was crystal clear. Who needed high def and all the other bells and whistles? She had no microwave and got her jiffy cooking done in the toaster oven. Her phone was attached to the wall next to the red step stool chair and the kitchen table that had pen and paper in the just the right spot for doodling as you talked.
My point in pointing all of this out? She didn’t need the latest and greatest to be one of the greatest. She lived her life with what made her happy. She was never trying to outdo or even keep with anyone. She was comfortable, happy, and current on what truly mattered; apartheid in South Africa, the AIDS crisis, political agendas, people in need. I remember a service at her church that was specifically for AIDS victims and where others shied away, my grandmother made sure to give a warm hug to those who needed it most. She gave of herself and her time for the inner-city children who graced the doorstep of her church for the after-school food, warmth, care, and education. I guess you could say she was on the cutting edge of love, respect, and service.
I am like her in many ways. Recently my mother told me that I have Grandma Barbara’s hands. What a compliment. I boil my water in a whistling tea kettle on the stove. Keurig be damned. I watch VHS tapes and I listen to “programs” on the radio…the radio! Thank goodness for A Prairie Home Companion. I’m happy that I’m not on the front lines of technology or anything else but I am doing what feels right. No apologies. I will also put my energies and time and love into what matters most in this day and time. There are many who need my help, your help, our help. Let’s do it!
Matthew 11: 28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”