1954. My mother’s mother got a new table. My mother was in third grade. Each day she came home from school and sat at it and had popcorn and grape juice.
Now it sits in my home. My grandmother has been in heaven for over a decade. Her table traveled 1500 miles to reside in my kitchen.
I have photos of me sitting in a baby bathtub on this table. I sat at it as a child.
Grandma, can I have one more piece of cobbler?
Even as a child I remember my grandmother’s Bible sitting on this table.
When I sit at it, I can feel her love. When I read my Bible at it, I feel God’s love.
My grandmother had feet that were very broken down. She always wore special shoes to help her keep walking.
Grandma would sit down at this table after a long day and spend 20 minutes undoing the laces on her specialty boots.
Oh, look away. Don’t look. It’s rude to stare, I told myself. Grandma’s feet were scary looking, red, bones in odd places. How on earth can she walk on those? I silently asked myself.
Each day my feet resemble hers more. I’m scared. I don’t want to have the pain she had in her feet. . .How did she serve all those exquisite meals at this table when she could barely stand?
She loved doing it.
She loved serving. Cooking the food was her way of being a servant.
Her life was very hard. Her husband did not make her life easy for her, sometimes going out of his way to make her walk even farther.
“Get me this, get me that” he’d say from his chair. And she’d hustle to get it.
I grew up and saw my role as a woman differently than hers. I thought she was meek to not stand up to him.
But she had made a choice. She chose to stay. . . To serve.
By choosing to serve him, she was choosing to serve Jesus.
Perhaps she had moments of meekness, but are not the meek blessed for they will inherit the earth? (Matthew 5:5)
Why did I never hear her complain?
Because she was too busy giving God praises. She was too busy figuring out who she needed to take a pie to on her block to cheer them up. She was too busy reading her Bible to sit around and tell us that which her life lacked. She was too busy finding out how other people needed prayer and then actually praying for them.
She was no pushover. My mom remembers her mother chasing her through the house with a hanger when she sassed her once.
But she listened for God’s voice that said, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) And then she walked. . . one step at a time. . . balancing on disfigured feet, deformed ankles. But. . .
Just keep walking, I tell myself. The day may come when you can no longer walk, but you can always walk in “it.”
I can walk the path I am given. . . or I can sit down and quit. But I cannot walk the path God has designated for someone else.
God, give me Your strength in my weakness. Show me the way and I will do my best to walk in it.
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.