Cherished Images

By: Gail Cardwell

2 Timothy 1: 5-7

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

My family and I spent last Christmas with my mother and her eldest sibling, my 97 year-old aunt.  When I went to my aunt’s house, she brought out a box from her closet and whispered in my ear, “Here, take this, it won’t be long now.” It was my grandmother’s hat, with delicate lace covering the face - she had kept it all these years. To me, it was a most precious gift. The cherished images of my grandmother in her reverent Sunday best deeply moved me.

In February, my aunt blessed me with a picture of my grandparents circa 1922. It arrived by mail with a birthday card. I stared at it. For over 50 years, my aunt had remembered my birthday and always sent me some token of her love.

I felt moved to call her and thank her for the beautiful photograph. She talked about the past, especially focusing on one moment when she felt the Lord’s direct and personal presence when she was in great need of comfort. I spoke of my faith and the Lord’s deliverance. Forty minutes passed. She asked if I had time for just one more story. She then told me of my grandmother’s intention of becoming a nun and of her strong faith. But my grandfather’s promise of a new life in America changed those plans. She recounted her life experiences and how she had accepted her “cross to bear.”

In over 50 years together, my aunt and I had never intimately shared our faith. We had finally placed aside discussion of the here and now and embraced the Lord’s gift of power and love.  Our relationship now bears the fruit of the Spirit and I am so grateful to the Lord for revealing this generational bond of faith to us.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: When I have the opportunity to initiate a discussion about my faith, do I act on it, or default to safer discussions?