Saturday, March 27, 2010
Yesterday I attended the funeral of an amazing lady named Grace. From the first I knew her many years ago when I started attending my church, I knew she was special because she radiated God's presence in her life to those around her.
I didn't know her well, never visited her in her home, or spent time away with her apart from our church, yet I counted myself privileged to know her.
In fact, when I sat down to plot my first novel, I patterned a family matriarch after her. That book still resides in a file somewhere on my computer. The writing isn't what it takes to be published, but when I first wrote it, I had dreams of giving Grace a copy of the book and telling her about her counterpart in my character.
Except for our faith in Christ, Grace and I are as opposite as any two people could be. She was raised in a family that knew Christ and became a Christian at a young age. I was not and didn't come to my faith until in my 30s. She was one of many children and I am an only child. She married and had six children, 20 grands and 27 greats when she passed at age 93. I've never married and have no children. She and her family spent several years in Japan as missionaries and I have only been to Canada as a tourist.
Yesterday from the tributes given by her family members, it became very apparent that Grace was a Bible student and a prayer warrior. She loved the Bible and read it daily, going through the Word in its entirety every year. And, I'm sure as she was inspired by the Holy Spirit, prayed back those words to God. She also prayed constantly for her family. Where once she had her six children to pray for, as they married and had their own children, she had in-laws and grands to pray for as well. In the end 20 grands, and 27 greats with three more on the way! And, according to her son-in-law, she remembered each and every one of them right up to her last days. My own grandmother sometimes had trouble keeping her six grands straight, often calling us by the wrong name. I don't hold that against her, it's just that Grace was truly amazing.
Her example has challenged me!
I don't have children or grands of my own to pray for, but I do have spiritual children. Those I've led to the Lord over the years or have shepherded as their Bible study leader. And some I've only known as very good friends who are dear to me. Although I always pray for them, I admit to not praying enough. A very dear friend of mine who passed away a while ago was also a prayer warrior and I know she prayed for me regularly on her knees!
We lead such busy lives today that oft times prayer is neglected or we give it a lick and a promise, as a former roommate used to say about cleaning the house. Yet God is always there for us 24/7. He never slumbers or sleeps as Psalm 121 says. We can pray not only on our knees, but while we're doing other things. Brother Lawrence used to make the best of the drudgery of dish washing by praising God as he scrubbed away.
From this day forward, I am determined to pray more often and more deeply for those I hold dear and to let them know they are prayed for. How about you?