Sunday, August 03, 2003

Got back from a brief trip to Tennessee to see some family and was glad I did. My Granny Ruth- with whom I lived through my high school and college years- seems to be dealing with some health issues and that is hard to take. She's always been the tough, "go-get-'em" type and is now displaying minor forgetfulness, some recurring malaise and is undergoing some scans and tests. I was amazed at how much weight she has lost. She just did not look like herself (have I been away this long)?

My Granny Ruth was the main person in my life at age 15 who was instrumental in leading me into a relationship with Christ. After my grandfather died and my divorced parents decided to move out and away, she brazenly took me and my sister into her home, which was too small and looked like a faded Easter egg. My bedroom was the food pantry/TV room/laundry room (amazing what you can do with a fold-away cot). It did not help my lone but devout grandmother to have two heathen pagans living with her, especially with our inclination to innebriate ourselves on the weekends. Besides, we were invincible and knew everything.

But she persisted as best as she knew how, dropping the invites to church and talking a lot about God. I figured her to be behind-the-times, relatively uninformed and irrelevant when it came to understanding the world as it was. After all, what did a fifty-something granny know about the Cold War and the inevitability of a devastating nuclear war? Hadn't she seen "The Day After?" Who was she to tell me I needn't worry about things and that God was in control as I loaded up her closet with milk jugs of water in preparation for the coming holocaust?

At that time in my young life, I was consumed by fear. Fear of not being loved, fear of not being accepted, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of fear. I was driven not to repulsion of things I should have been taught to avoid, but fascination with the things that were beyond comprehension....especially with the spiritual realm, which I pursued with a vigor and without any bounds. So I naturally gravitated toward the supernatural, the paranormal and the occult.

But Granny Ruth was there. She gave me the book that contained the prayer I prayed to invite Christ in my life. She noticed that something in me was different even though I had told no one for two weeks after I had received Christ. She was the nurturing presence in the initial stages of my Christian journey. She took me in, took a chance in laying down an opportunity for life and became the vessel through which God would intersect my life and say, "Here I am.....what are you going to do with me?"

I just can't believe that was eighteen years ago already.