Thursday, July 7, 2011

Faithful Servant


Bryant has always been close to his grandmother.  He has many stories and childhood memories of spending the day and night over at his grandparents' house.  One of my favorites is when he was younger and was spending the night at their house.  He was all tucked in the twin bed in the guest room and his grandma was about to leave when he told her how cold he was.  His grandparents were in the habit of turning the heat off at night even in the winter to save money on utilities and because they told him they enjoyed the crisp air.  Without missing a beat she put an extra blanket on the bed and told him, "You'll be fine.  You're hot-natured."

After she made that statement, Bryant went right to sleep.  He took what she said to heart and went to bed warm.  I love that story.  It's funny how one little story can describe someone so well.  She was always good with her money and her word.  What Grandma says, is just the way it is.

A month ago Bryant spent the day at his grandmother's house helping her plant a garden full of squash, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peppers, basil and cilantro.  That would be one of the last memories he would share with her.  A couple of weeks after their visit she went in for stomach trouble and after taking several tests the doctors said she had spots on her liver that were probably cancerous.

Everything happened very quickly after that initial doctor's visit.  She went in for several different tests - none of which were conclusive.  Last Wednesday the 29th, she was admitted to the hospital for dehydration and was scheduled to go home in a couple days.  Friday morning things took a turn for the worst and all the results from the previous tests all pointed to the same conclusion.  Bryant's grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and had an aggressive tumor that was changing rapidly.

It was that morning we received the phone call that the doctors didn't expect her to make it through the weekend.  Most of this last week has blurred together except the details of that morning.  I had just finished working out and was running a few errands around the Poplar area.  It was a few minutes after noon and I stopped in Panera Bread to grab lunch before heading to the hospital.  As I was walking to my car, I heard the chimes from Christ United Methodist Church playing, "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us."  I sat in my car with the windows rolled down and just listened until the last note.  And then I prayed.  For that day and the days to come.

I saw Grandma at the hospital that afternoon and prayed with her.  She kept asking for prayer.  I prayed what Pastor Steve had just preached on the Sunday or two before.  I prayed that the Lord would send angels to minister to her while she was in the hospital.  Her pastor from Ellendale Baptist came and prayed over her as well.  As he came in the room he addressed her as, "the Lord's faithful servant."  I don't know what my life will look like at 81 years old, but one thing I do know is how I want to be known.  What better title is there in all the world other than the Lord's faithful servant?

Over the weekend we saw the Lord answer many prayers.  One of which was that Bryant made it home late Saturday evening and was able to see his grandmother.  Another blessing was that she woke up on Sunday and Bryant was able to speak with her.  She surprised the doctors and made it through the weekend, through the Holiday and even the next day.  But nothing catches Him by surprise.  All our days are numbered and He knows them every one. 

Yesterday Grandma took her last breaths on this earth with her family by her side and with the angels carrying her to His side.  She is deeply loved and will be greatly missed.  But this we know, our loss is her gain.

Early let us seek Thy favor;
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Thy love our beings fill;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful, beautiful woman and tribute.

    ReplyDelete

 

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