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Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)
TITLE: Heart Whispers
By Marsha Landers
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Granny was the mother of two girls and seven boys during the Great Depression where hard times indelibly left its mark. What a challenge the Lord presented her! Papa was a farmer, locally known as the “sweet potato king”. The labor of the seven sons was essential to the farm’s survival and blessing to the family.
When World War II came, she received a devastating blow. Six of their sons were of age for fighting, so all six of them served their country at the same time. How much strength she must have been given to bear those departures! Only 15 year old, Fred, who later became my father, was left to help keep their farm viable.
A hot summer day found the three of them toiling in the field. Granny produced a handkerchief from her dress pocket and stopped to wipe the sweat trickling around her eyes. Or could that have been tears she wiped? She paused, looked around in alarm and dropped to the ground. Before fainting, she cried, “My boy, my boy. Cooke’s been shot.” Papa fell to his knees, wiping her face with the water he had and praying for God to help her. When revived, she repeated her words. Not understanding, Papa and Fred thought she was delirious from overwork and heat and carried her inside. Later, after dark, she repeated the episode. Papa was truly frightened for her now. Being poor, they had no phone. The nearest neighbor owning one was more than a mile away. Fred took off running, never slowing. At the neighbor’s home, he called the doctor and immediately started the fearful run back home. Not knowing what he would find when he returned home, he was afraid to get there, yet, scared not to be there.
The doctor, waving smelling salts, was there when he arrived. Papa was on his knees praying. Granny slowly roused but was still murmuring about her son being shot. Two days came and went with no news. She found the resolve to do what she had to do to keep their farm and family going. While the men were relieved, they were perplexed about the “spell”. They were not worried about her physical health now but were worried about her continuing to say Cooke had been shot and her vigilance in praying for him. Only Granny understood the great communicator needed her standing in the gap.
On the third day, the military telegram arrived and Granny’s words were confirmed. Her son had been shot on the day and at the time she had fainted in the field. And, yes, it was Cooke who needed her. God had whispered to her heart that her son was calling for her and needed her prayers. She did not fail him or the one who whispered the words.
Unsuccessfully, the doctors tried twice to remove the bullet lodged next to his nose. Knowing it could eventually kill him, it became a reminder of a terror he could never speak of and wanted to forget; yet, also of the miracle of his mother’s love, always cherished, always remembered. Cooke returned home, lived a full life, and was the treasure to our granny that she was to us. God blessed her continued faithfulness with another miracle, the safe return of all her sons.
NIV: Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!
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