It has been a lovely few days. Grandma is an 80-year bundle of spunk and love for the Lord. She is set with purpose for each day and carries in her heart many souls before the Lord. I spent one night in her home, enjoyed her roof-top terrace, sat on her front patio, ate at her table, and managed to sit on the floor beside her as she sorted vegetables (there is always much protest when I try to sit on a floor).
As I was about to leave she gifted me with a small bag. It is the perfect size for my notebook and my Bible and I cannot quite describe the pleasure of this gift. To begin, it will protect my Bible on my many travels. Already I have had to add tape to the spine of my Bible for it was being rubbed raw as I move it into and out of my backpack again and again. Now I can keep my Bible in this new covering and it will last longer. This is very good, for any who know how great it is to have our markings and pages of familiar passages easy at hand will understand; I’d like to keep this particular Bible as long as possible.
But what is most amazing to me is that she made it out of an old sari. While sari’s can wear out over time, the edge, which is made of silk, being thicker and richer, can be repurposed; at least, grandma has repurposed her saris. And so, not only do I have a bag for my Bible, but I have a piece of cloth that she herself once wore.
I imagine her in this sari walking through her village sharing the good news of Jesus; for this is what she does every day. I can see her tending to those who need extra prayers, hands and heart of support alongside difficulty and uncertainty. The day I was at her home she had gone next door to shoo the monkeys out as the owner was away at work. Service, generosity of life, clarity of mind, vision, passion, all lived out loud through her good long life.
If her sari’s could talk, they would share many things and bring witness to much. And I now have a piece of her sari as protective covering for my Bible. The faithfulness of her life is reaching to my own life. I find it difficult to put words to the impact of this. What I know is that the prayers and lives of prayerful women carry on a work of profound measure; by them we are raised up in our own faithfulness and walk.
The work I do brings me many moments that primarily reside only in my memory. Some I try to put words to, others I try to capture with pictures, still more are only smells and sights and colours, and then there are these moments, when in the hearts understanding and in the eyes of those I am alongside, I know I am with family, with God’s family, a community rich, so very rich, in life and love, in gladness and peace, in fellowship that transcends any and all language or cultural differences; in the company of Christ we find people familiar to us though we only just met. It is a miracle I experience most every day.