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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Heart Whispers
By Marsha Landers


Granny was a small, slightly bent woman with silver hair pulled back in a bun, wearing a faded cotton print dress with a tiny black belt at the waist and what was surely called “sturdy” black shoes. Stooped over her large print Bible, sitting in a hardback chair under one light bulb hanging from a string, was also Granny. Hearing her praying aloud every morning was routine to visiting grandchildren. It was so like Granny, now widowed, to ask Jesus if this is the day he would come for her. She reminded (or maybe admonished) him that she missed her husband, Will, and was ready to see them both. What a comfort she was, putting my fears of death to rest, knowing from her example that God’s timing is perfect, and that some day, I, too, will be ready to travel home, longing for her arms to wrap around me again.

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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This article has been read 408 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/10/08
Nice title, and good characterization of Granny.

There are some grammar errors to be edited: some incorrect tenses jumped out at me, and a few awkward sentences.

I love the story about Cooke--how marvelous!
Terry Walker04/10/08
This really stuck a cord as my grandparents on both sides sent their sons to WWII, all within months of each other. What a great story of a woman's walk with her God and her open heart to Him. Thanks for sharing.

Dianne Janak04/10/08
Wow... what a story. I know this is a wonderful tribute to a Godly woman who made a huge difference in the lives of those who loved her. You told the story well and brought me there with you. I feel like I know her.
Debbie Wistrom04/10/08
Wow, I feel like this is a true story, either way you are blessed, thanks for a wnderful story.
Dee Yoder 04/10/08
In a few words, you really brought your family to life; especially the Godly character of your grandmother. As Jan suggested, a little polishing here and there will make this shine! It's worth it to do that, too, because this is very good and quite a miraculous testimony!
Joshua Janoski04/11/08
It's great that God gave your grandmother insight into the problem that was going on. I'm sure her prayers helped bring her son home alive.

Thank you for sharing this story. I enjoyed it. :)
Julie Paulsen04/16/08
Your beloved Granny was a very strong woman. I was so relieved to read that none of her sons were lost in the war...perhaps it was her "heart whispers" that kept them all safe. Nice story.
Joanne Sher 04/18/08
Congratulations, Marsha, on placing 13th in your level with this piece. Great work!