“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (Philippians 2:14-15, NLT).
My first memory of aunt Grace was seeing her, in the backyard at grandma and grandpa Peddie, picking a red hot pepper from the tree. The tree was near the tank and I was at the tank (well) drawing water. When I turned around aunty was eating the hot pepper. Thinking back on that day I compared it with her spiritual journey. She was not happy to settle for mediocre, she was hot for Christ. The Bible tells us that if we are luke-warm God will spit us out, according to Revelation 3:16. Aunty was neither luke-warm nor cold, in serving Christ. And throughout her sickness that was evident. I think of the word, FEARLESS when I remember the scene of the hot pepper – she smiled in the face of danger. She faced death with no fear. She followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and was victorious. Her victory came in believing in the God who can save the soul and the body. Her testimonial song was, “I must have the Saviour with me, for I dare not walk alone.” She could keep on smiling and serving because she knew God was with her and would never leave her.
My second memory of aunt Grace was sitting with her around a pile of dirty laundry at her marital home in Richard’s Hall. I was too young to remember which of my cousins were already born but I know that Julia, her eldest child, was already here. I don’t know what it was, about that scene, that makes me think of happiness when I recall that moment. I do, however, remember her smiling and talking with me while scrubbing those clothes. Today, I recognise that God is also teaching me with that scene. Wherever, we are placed, that’s where God wants us to shine. She was a married woman, serving her husband and children. Someone once told me to bloom where I am planted. She was sitting before a bundle of dirty laundry and yet she had a joy about her. She wasn’t complaining. She was scrubbing those clothes with a smile. There is a lesson there in how we serve our fellow man, whether in our home, in the church or in our place of work.
Your sister in Christ
Janice S Ramkissoon.
9th February 2013