She was small in stature but huge on faith, a prayer warrior who was relentless in her pursuit of God’s help.
Mammaw, as I called her as a child, prayed about everything. Nothing was too trivial. In her latter years, when her eyesight and memory began to fade, she used prayer like you and I use GPS. It was her built-in navigator.
One day she lost a pencil and asked me if I had one. “No, mam. Sorry, I can’t help you.”
“Then, I’ll just ask God where it is,” she said while closing her eyes and lifting up her silent request. Moments later she proudly announced, “Found it.”
I was the blessed benefactor of many, if not most, of her prayers. After her funeral in 1981, an old family friend offered her condolences and then asked me how I was doing.
“Doing great,” I responded.
“Of course you are. Your grandmother prayed for you every day of your life.”
Once, not long after Janet and I were married, while living in Charlotte, NC, we were so broke after paying our bills that there was only $5 left for groceries. We bought dried beans, cornmeal, and powdered milk.
Next day, Janet called me at work and wanted to know how to cook dried beans. “Don’t really know,” I said. “You probably just boil them all day.”
That evening when I arrived, the beans were boiling as prescribed. I performed my usual task of tasting and decided more salt was needed. Then we retreated to the backyard to play with our dog and forgot about the beans. When we returned our supper was badly burned and not fit for consumption by man nor beast. So, the evening meal consisted of cornbread and water, which is what we dined on for the remainder of the week.
On Saturday afternoon, there was a knock on the door. Our neighbor, also our landlord, dropped by to pay us a visit. “Had our annual Lion’s Club barbecue today,” he said. “Had a bunch left over and thought that you might like some.”
“Oh, no sir. We can’t afford it. Maybe some other time.”
“It’s not for sale and it’s all yours if you want it.”
As soon as the door was closed behind him, Janet and I did a happy dance all the way to the kitchen. I promise you, that was the best barbecue ever and enough to feed us until my next paycheck. I was convinced that our blessing was the direct result of my grandmother’s prayers.
Our kids grow up, move away, and start families of their own…and we worry about them. Sometimes we feel powerless and wish there was something more that we could do to help. Actually, there is something more that we can do. Pray. Pray for them everyday. There is nothing you can buy, or say, or give, or do that could accomplish more than to lift them up in prayer.
Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to read my book, IN THE VALLEY OF HOPE, and learn a little more about this amazing little woman of faith.