My latest article from Boundless is now online:
Sitting across the table from my 96-year-old great-grandmother is always a joy. It doesn’t take long to realize she was once a fiery redhead, even beneath the faded beauty.
She smiles wide when I tell her that I’ve decided to be a pastor. I smile back.
See, my great-grandma grew up in a small town in Illinois, went to Bible school and married a pastor. She and my great-grandfather served in churches from Mississippi to Maryland. Her stories range from the hilarious to the somber and depressing.
I took a sip of my tea as she told me another funny story with that twinkle in her eye.
When she finished her story, I couldn’t help but ask her about the hard times. Her face darkened as the months and years of difficulty and sorrow flashed through her mind. Their house had burned after a church service. I could imagine my great-grandmother being dragged away from the wreckage as she watched through tears all that she owned burn to the ground.
“But you know what, Tim? It couldn’t have been better for us,” she told me. “We kept serving, and that tragedy brought us closer to the community. We ended up in an even better house.”
Hardly anyone knows my great-grandmother. She does not command attention when she enters a room. She is frail and forgetful. But I wouldn’t dare for a moment say that this woman was not used by the Lord in incredible ways.
She stands as a spiritual giant in my mind, despite her lacking résumé and speaking schedule.
The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him.”