One of my granddaughters posted the following on Facebook the following on July 4th – Happy Birthday, Grandma Daisy. I’ll see you on the other side of Heaven one day.
I hear a lot about legacies, and have been more aware of them recently, as I pack to move. If I left this earth today, what would be left behind? I never have to wonder what my Mother would think about anything. She left many words – typewritten on an electric typewriter and hand written behind – and there is no question of her faith in God during the four years of her last illness. Her last gift to me was showing me her faith, alive and growing, even in the midst of pain. That is her legacy.
I opened handwritten book adorned with two cherubs and wondered what it contained. It was inscribed, To my dear Secret Sister, with Love, December 11, 1993. Mother had a secret sister? I didn’t realize, I guess it was a secret.
What did Mom write in this gift? Curious, I began to read….January 1, 1994.
Every year should begin with prayer and I have a thousand reasons to thank my Father. This morning. So it is good to bring my Thank You to Him. Since I can not sing too well at 86, I shall write a review of Psalm 147 as my Song of Praise.
1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
6 The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. 7 Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. 8 He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. 9 He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. 10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; 11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
What did Mother see in this portion of Psalm 147? How did she summarize this David’s Psalm?
My Wonderful Father in Heaven, I marvel that you have time to watch over me, to guide my days, and to comfort me when heartaches come. I know how busy you are!
You did bring back your people from Babylon and Assyria. You settled them back in Jerusalem after they had learned that idols are worthless. But our Jerusalem is the church and you still bring people from sinful exiles into your Kingdom. You heal all human hearts and bandage broken relationships to give us spiritual families in Jesus.
Not only are you busy with human beings and their problems, but you look at your created universe to count and name each star – to set each twinkling light into its place. That is awesome.
Not even the wisest scientist can do that. And so many ‘so-called’ experts try to refute your wisdom and power. We know your strength, insight and wisdom are without limit. You alone have power to lift up meek and lonely people to places of honor and worth. And You alone can take care of drug lords or wicked rulers in your time.
The best weatherman can only predict the rains, wind currents or hurricanes. You have the final word! You fed the drouth to water the prairies. You sprout little brown seeds and watch them grow. You provide hay and corn for livestock and feed every wild bird and beast according to their need.
Do you must laugh at powerful planes, at striving athletes or large band accounts. What truly gives you pleasure? A child-like faith in one who tries to please and delight you – like an obedient child pleases a parent and more.
As I read tidbits of Mother’s prayers from so many years ago, and learned more about the thinking of my Mother. I knew that she spent many hours listening to God. I read in Jim Toombs’ book, Seeing Behind The Masks an account of the interview of Mother Theresa by Dan Rather. He asked Mother Theresa about prayer:
“What do you say to God when you pray,” he inquired.
“Nothing,” replied Mother Theresa. “I just listen.”
“What does God say to you?” he responded derisively.
“Nothing,” replied Mother Theresa, “He just listens.
Jim Toombs then commented.…Mother Theresa and God had a relationship. They ‘hung out together’. I stopped reading and re-read the sentence… astonished. I tasted the phrase – ‘hung out’ – the phrase that young folks use. I thought about all the times when I loved simply thinking about God knowing His Presence was with me. Did Mom do this, too? Were her written prayers a ‘hanging out’ with God?
Her last four years were filled with a ‘brick’ on her chest (pulmonary fibrosis). Yet she gave thanks. She praised God. She did not complain or whine. How did she do it?
In 1995, she wrote, “Abba, Father, May I lay my head upon your breast, like the worn out tent that I am with little strength left. Yet you give me so much in your Word. It warms, comforts and blesses me. It pours over me like perfume to give me a foretaste of Heaven. What others consider monotony, I consider His peace.
Lord, you make everything so beautiful, but Father, my tent is so bloody and leaky. Polish me quickly so I am ready for Home. Forgive me for weeping on your shoulder when I should be praising You. I’m weary of pain and a body that does not function properly.
My soul stands on tiptoe and I am ready for angels to come to take me home.I long for that day. Teach me to thank you with each breath I take.
In Jesus’ Name,