Monday, May 18, 2009

A Twilight's Teaching


"When twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star, remember that you have a friend, though she may wander far."

Lucy Maud Montgomery
The night fell with a beautiful twilight, diffusing soft light through the day old sky, with hues of pink, like tea rose and cherry blossom, blended with red coral and fire brick, touched subtly with thistle, amethyst, and laced with beige, like wheat. The day's end ebbed gently away, yet supremely approached its leaving with elegance, affecting the setting of sun and the coming darkness with relief, remorse, beholden, believing, dreaming, daunting, with regards of past and prospects of future.

I watched her watch that evening sky. Through the wide window she gazed, sat, stilled, as our sweet little made-up home grew dusky, then darkened, then dark. I spoke. She stayed silent. I pursued conversing. She refused to comply. "What are you doing Grandma?" "I'm just thinking about things," she replied. I knew to engage no longer. I left. Returned. Left. Came later. Left, again. Returned, once more. And left, again.

My wonder at her wonder, her agile patience and the depth of her solitude were much to perceive for one fourteen years old, who sought solace and felicity with the hope of a life before her from one who had lived a life of prayer and truth, a walk with God that equaled no other I knew, and whose great love for me had been security in the days, months, and years following the death of my beloved father.

Indeed, the Lord Himself sent my dear grandmother to our lonely little home to comfort our broken hearts and fill our rooms with her sweet savor and cautious sensibility. Her life was life for us, especially for me. I had always been endeared to her. Loved her fiercely. Longed for her with heart-wrenching hope. And her presence in my pain filled a void that only eternity will tell.

At night, in bed, she comforted me, talked to me, told me of her life. Times growing up with her many sisters, their searches through shivery wood on snowy days, their thorny treks to school, their making-do in meagerness, her loving mother, whom she adored, who loved flowers, flourished with kindness, whom she missed so, of whom she dreamed, now saw endowed with a pink robe, and a new greater love.

My dear grandma and I read our Bibles together, prayed together, talked together, counseled together, learned, reasoned, laughed, lived together. For her unreserved love and dedication to me and my best I am forever grateful. Her gift of her giving spirit and her patient, prayerful life heard many days, and nights, behind closed doors, laid a lasting foundation of love, a legacy to be passed on to my children and theirs.

That one twilight etched in my memory like letters in stone. I saw my dear one in heartbreaking pain, unmoving in dusky dark, who with the growing night, became a lone silhouette against a diminutive waning glow. Grandma carried the burdens of us all. Her children, grandchildren, and her own private pain of a less that perfect love for my dear grandfather, whose less than perfect life brought her more than little grief.

Wanting to cheer her lonely heart and longing to have her again as my own, I searched for words to hurry and heal and bring life to my grandma's still self. I think she understood. . . . And she loved me the more, knowing my vast dependence on her as my rock and strength. Realizing my lonely teenage person was yet too young to fully know the joy of the Rock of my salvation.

Days following, Grandma's heart was again stout, her spirit revived, and she was once more herself. And again she was my joy. But deep in my heart a truth took hold. A lesson won. Like clay in a modeler's hand, God took my dear one's pain and shaped it before me, sowed this vision in my spirit, reached my heart through my sore eyes.

Looking back at that twilight, I now hear the Father whisper. "Life is imperfect. Yet must be lived. Can be lived. Will be lived. Not one heart is so sturdy that it cannot break. Not one spirit so pure that it lives without temptation to despair. Even those you love best, whose lives you so cherish, on whose very words and strength you depend, are not without weakness, fear, or confusion; none are immune from trouble, guarded from guilt, protected from private pain. But all who know My Name, who seek My trust, regard My will, will be kept by My grace, delivered from fear, and find My peace."

This May 20, my dear grandma would have been a centenarian. Until her death at age ninety-four, she remained a rock for me, always being my mentor and my friend. Her petite little figure was wrought with tall faith. Through her long life, she taught me the reality of God, for she lived in His truth and walked in His grace. She showed me the path of righteousness, as she walked it before me, with her love, with her faith, in her darkness, in her pain, and through her weakness. I now have, because of God's grace and my grandma's rich life, a still trust and a lasting hope. It is a pearl, pink-white, perfectly round, and will never lose its luster, a priceless gem, to be fully revealed in eternal light.

A song now pours through my heart. A rapturous voice of praise I learned in my teenage years found a forever place in my soul. Lodged there, settling with hope for all times and time, it still rings, triumphs with truth, with its overcoming words of life, at once yielding joy and hope.

Enjoy this precious hymn, written in 1834 by Edward Mote and William B. Bradbury. Please remember to mute the playlist, located at the bottom of the page.


"For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

I Corinthians 3:11

18 comments:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your grandma...she sounds like a treasure and the legacy she left her family is one of the Father's greatest gifts...I know, because I was blessed with two such wonderful Grandmothers....thanks for sharing these memories...

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this tribute to your grandmother. What a blessing... and what a heritage... how God has used her in your life.

    and thank you for the reminder that just because someone is strong in the Lord, they won't escape the troubles of this world. It happens to all of us... but the important thing is to who we cling.
    God bless you,
    heather

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  3. How beautifully written, and what a wonderful legacy your grandma left behind.
    I was fortunate to grow up with my Grandma, who lived with us, and I have never forgotten her goodness and love.

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  4. I love reading your posts Andrea, because I feel like I am holding a precious literature book in my hands, with beautiful lines penned by a real life author, my contemporary, even though we may be miles apart.

    Thank you for this tribute to your grandma.

    And the hymn you posted at the end, it is certainly one of my favorites!

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  5. A Beautiful post, Andrea. And I cherish any word by Lucy Maud Montgomery. She seems to have been able to speak for all of us.

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  6. What another beautiful post and tribute to your Grandmother! The memories we have of those dear loved ones gone on we shall treasure forever until we see them again!

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  7. How beautiful:) Your grandmother sounds like she was a lovely woman and your story of her is so heartwarming. Your words are like poetry that speak so clearly to all who read them.

    Blessings,

    Kim

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  8. That was SO beautiful *sniff*
    what a lovely tribute to your Grandma!!
    "My hope is Built on Nothing Less"
    is one of my favorite hymns too!!!!

    Love & Blessings~ Miss Jen

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  9. Your work is publishing worthy. I have no clue just how to go about it except to write..more so, to PRAY! Your voice needs to be heard and break beyond the blog-walls we see before us. I promise you...if any of your words ever goes to print, I would love, love, love to honor you with the artwork for the cover!

    You are blessed...so very blessed.

    Love, Rebecca

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  10. What a beautiful post and song. You write so delicately, yet make such profound statements. I could feel your sadness as a young girl watching the one you loved go through the pain and then learning that sadness does come to a well lived life just the same.

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  11. Dear Andrea,

    I am speechless at how beautifully written this is. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. It brings tears to my eyes because I was very, very close to my grandmother as well. You have written and expressed what is in my heart. Can you believe, my dear grandmother's birthday was also on May 20th. She went to be with the Lord August of 2007 at the young age of 78. I miss her terribly.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Blessings to you,
    Mrs. Teapot

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  12. Dear Andrea,

    The next time you visit my blog, scroll down. I wrote a post about my "Grandmother's cuban red beans"...

    Blessings,
    Mrs. Teapot

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  13. Dearest Andrea,

    You are the first post I have read today and it has filled me with so much hope. Yes, hope.

    "But all who know My Name, who seek My trust, regard My will, will be kept by My grace, delivered from fear, and find My peace."

    It is only through Him that we live this life. But when we do fall into despair, into depression, into any kind of trial...it is only Him that will give us that peace that passes all understanding.

    May the Lord continue to bless you as you remember your dear grandmother. May her memories continue to draw you closer to Him.

    In His precious love dear friend,

    lady m

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  14. Andrea:
    As I read this, I thought of a shadowy night of my own ... a time in my teen years when I heard the muffled cries of my mother in her bedroom below. I rarely saw my mother show any tears; my instinct was to cradle her pain and carry it as my own. I just wanted to make things better for her.

    She was careful to guard her words (something I've not quite mastered in my tearful moments); somehow, I knew that this pain was a personal, deep wound that wasn't for my mind to conceive. Still and yet, I carried it. Something was different in that night ... it would remain for days. Years later I would learn about the reason behind those tears. Mother and father shared with me in a season when my ears were ready for the hearing.

    I was walking through a divorce. They shared with me about the difficult season that almost caused theirs. Thank God that they kept it from me then; thank God that they kept pressing in and pressing on to do the hard thing of repairing a marriage that was deeply broken. The world is a better place because of their pain, God's grace, and the healing between the two.

    I don't know why this post has enlivened those memories in me today, but now I'm in tears and thankful for the immeasurable grace that comes to us in the dark night of our souls and asks us to trust him for more.

    I'm trusting God today; not just for my life, but for the life of my family. I pray you know that same trust, friend. Thanks for listening.

    peace~elaine

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  15. Andrea-

    Another beautifully written post in the style of our long lost wordsmiths of literature. What a wonderful recollection of your grandmother and her beauty and life that will be forever embedded in your heart and mind. You are always so inspiring. I hope you have a wonderful day.

    In Love,
    Ramona

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  16. Blessed are we who can recall such wonderful women who poured their faith and strength into our lives to be passed on from generation to generation!! Praise be to The Father for lessons learned at our mother's and grandmother's feet!!
    What a Precious Blessing, My Friend!!

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  17. Andrea,

    Your writing style is beautiful and inviting. You draw me in to personal glimpses of your life with eloquent lines and I feel as if I am the teen returning to a grandmother's solitude. Your tribute post has blessed me today as I'm taking my own dear grandmother to the doctor this afternoon.

    You have a beautiful heritage indeed.

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Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,

Andrea