Like a ship sailing on smooth waters, my husband’s grandmother spoke God’s truths with strength and tenderness. Truly, she was someone who had not only perfected a gracious response; she excelled at extending humility as she held up a mirror of grace. She invited you to see what she saw, to hear what she heard, to understand that broken pieces can be restored. Like sitting on a front porch swing on a cool summer evening she made you feel secure, safe, heard, and loved. Long before the self-help books proclaimed to us how to be, she was.
She lived a life that she instilled in others. She knew that Jesus was her love source allowing her to share with a heart that had been redeemed. She knew that His love permeated her words. There was little mystery to her when it came to the word of God. She studied them, she tested them, and she lived them day in and day out. A pastor’s wife, a school teacher, and an admired woman of faith, Helen lead in a leader’s way, by example.
Her truth questions, then and now, settle deep in my heart. Will you ask these of yourself and hold them in your heart too?
How is your soul? She would ask this question like she was asking where did you get those shoes? She thought people would immediately have an answer, Target or Amazon. Most people stopped and stared at her with disbelief that she would ask the question and anticipate an answer. Ever the gentle lady, she would wait, watch, and wonder as your mind tried desperately to find a suitable answer to such a profound question. She knew that an emotional roller coaster had been set off as you would want to discover the soul-healing answer to this question. Her eyes held you like a warm winter’s fire; waiting for the coldness that entered you to warm. No judgment, no self-proclamation, no leading with an answer that would begin to feel acceptable. Just pure patience as you worked out what you wanted to say and needed to understand.
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1.
How do you measure your resilience? She would look into you as she extended her question, how fast did you learn from your last difficult situation? Or, when you faced hard times, how did you bounce back? It was never if, it was always when and how. She let the question sit like a painting waiting to dry, knowing another layer could not be added, just yet. Calmly listening, prayerfully anticipating as you sifted through your responses to your difficulties.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
Do you have your needs met in healthy ways? Holding this question like the answer would be placed on scales of justice. Looking for and wanting to find your scales in balance, only to see the scales weighted down with self-created heaviness. Remembering she knows healthy is being free of affliction caused by your own actions, actions not taken or another’s action. Never a whisper of judgment, only offering a kind prompt to help you see that our needs, more often than not, are self-managed rather than laid before our God asking Him to meet our every need.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8
With God’s love before you, ask and answer these questions and when able, ask others with love and grace.
Sue serves as the Connections & Rooted Pastor at ONE Church. She grew up in Northern California and attended college at the University of Nevada where she received her bachelor’s in Judicial Management. She is currently pursuing her Theology Degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. Sue married the love of her life, Bert, and they have 2 amazing children: Rachel & Kevin. They, with their spouses, (Kevin & Kaylee) provided Sue with her 6, soon to be 7, favorite people. Sue loves to laugh, memory-making experiences, cups of tea, and watching the Red Sox win: especially over the Yankees. Her passion is to lead people into the adventurous story Jesus has for them.