with Rev. Rachel
144 that i may live Psalm 119
If all of us have balcony people, Grammy and Grand-pop are mine. I can picture them as a part of that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). But mostly I run into them on city sidewalks or feel their imprint on country byways. Heck, all it took was a ginkgo tree sighting, the kind brought to Atlanta all those years ago, still gracing Clifton Road, and they were in South Korea,
I lost one while studying abroad as a college junior. The other called for the chariot soon thereafter. She taught kindergarten. And upon telling him how she really felt about marrying a pastor tending to six churches in the backwoods of Georgia, he too took to teaching.
They were where we were. With them, my brothers and I could count on togetherness. I knew there would be farmer’s cheese for my bagel and pound cake in a counter-top tin. I knew that they were making all the difference, even absent the words to say so.
They were to me rocks when other households were hard places. It is the kind of truth retrospect reveals. I tried to recall their house number yesterday. The re-realization that they were gone and that Google’s search engine was unprepared to do justice to who they were, who they are, it takes one’s breath away.
Another truth: I was barking up the wrong tree…missing the forest for the trees…something to that effect. For if am going to preach a sermon about making good on the fellowship we have with those who have preceded us, maybe I am late for practice.
I have to believe that it is not too late—that you can say what you need to say and the Spirit will act as postmistress. No, I don’t have to believe that. I do. ‘That [we] may live,’ God provides all kinds of bread for the journey, often in the form of people. Some call them heroes. The Church teaches us to call them saints.
Grammy, Grand-pop, you were and continue to be grace upon grace upon grace. I aim to make you proud. Enjoy the church triumphant and I’ll see you on the other side Sunday. Hey, it’s a start. And who is our God if not the one who rejoices in small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10)?