When I was a little girl, I often went to spend the night with my wonderful grandmother, Mamamarge. We had a special bond.
Image: Gates BBQ w/ Mamamarge in 2010
Mamamarge loved the Lord. Each morning, she had her quiet time and prayed for each of us grandkids. She was devoted to her church in the inner city of Kansas City: Linwood United--which was made up of several congregations that had fallen in on themselves over the years due to white flight. Mamamarge was a lasting sentinal from Linwood Presbyterian. She was dedicated to integration.
Mamamarge had the spiritual gift of GIVING. And boy did she live this out loud and clear. If I spent the night with her on a weekend, she would have me help her make something special like cinnamon rolls, chili, or soup. After services on Sunday morning, we would go visit a Shut-In. Mamamarge always had a gift in hand. Two of my favorite shut-ins to visit were Winifred Yeater, who was crippled with cerebal palsey and Mrs. Davis, my preschool Sunday school teacher (who gave us graham crackers--yes, I remember!). Here's the inscription of the Bible given in 1948 to Gladford and Marjorie Allen from their Sunday school class, The Homebuilders:
"Good morning, God, I love You. What do you have in mind for me for today?
I want to be a part of it."
--Mamamarge's morning prayer
In my On Mission with God study this week, I've been studying Abraham and his mission of raising a great nation to be a blessing to all families in the earth. We were given the task of stating how God has blessed us spiritually. Without question, the Godly influence of Mamamarge has been paramount to my spiritual foundations. Oh, how I miss not being able to call her in the middle of the day or night to ask her to pray for me for something I was facing! She passed away in 2012--at 99 1/2.
Passing on the Giving Blessing. So now I am married to a wonderful man and have a 16-year-old son at home. For as long as I have known Jim, he has been growing sweet corn and giving it away to family and friends as a blessing. He makes sure to take a pick-up load to the church to give to pastors and employees. As his wife, I've joined him in this endeavor--but it really is his heartbeat and joy. He won't let anyone pay him for it, either. He just wants to be a blessing. He sends me out in the truck full of corn to deliver to the elderly in our church, Sunday school friends, choir members, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else he can think of.
Thursday I went to the farm to pick up corn to deliver. My son Ben is at the age where he wants to sleep in all day and play video games all night. I told Jim I could make the deliveries on my own, without Ben's help (knowing Ben was tired). But Jim insisted Ben go with me. DUH. Why didn't I think of that? Jim is doing the same thing with Ben that Mamamarge did with me--building a Godly heritage of being a blessing to others by giving. As an adult, I cherish my memories of visiting shut-ins. Ben will have the same foundation, thanks to a Godly dad!