“Gramma!”, a little pigtailed girl squealed as she flew into the arms of that beautiful lady, who you’d never have expected to be a grandmother. “Oh Louise, it’s so good to see you!”, her Gramma replied.
This was their yearly visit. Louise, who was now 7 years old, had visited her grandmother in South Carolina every year in September since she was 4, while her mother and father went away on a vacation of their own. Louise was an only child and it was a very special treat for her to come and stay with her only living grandparent for a whole two weeks!
Each time she came to visit, her Gramma planned many things to do together. This year Gramma was going to teach Louise how to sew. Gramma had a special room with all kinds of fabric and ribbon and thread. When Louise first saw the room, she just stood there for a long while, gazing in wonder at all the beautiful colors. Gramma was going to help Louise make a rag doll this year.
That first day of Louise’s visit, she picked out each type of material and ribbons and thread that she would use to make her doll and then it was time for Gramma to teach her how to stitch. Gramma patiently taught her the small stitches that she would need to make her doll. While Louise was practicing her stitches on a small scrap of cloth, Gramma told her about God.
“Louise, did you know that God stitched you together, much like you’re going to stitch together your baby doll? In the Bible, in the book of Psalms it says, ‘For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’ You are very precious to God Louise, even more precious than you are to me, or to your parents, or your baby doll will be to you!”
Louise’s Gramma continued to tell Louise about God each day that they sat together and sewed. With each new piece of the rag doll that Louise added, Gramma added to the wonderful story of Jesus.
When it came time to leave Gramma’s house that year, Louise decided to leave her rag doll behind. “I want to leave my rag doll here Gramma, so that every year when I come back, she’ll be here waiting for me just like you.”
Each year Louise went back to visit her Gramma and her Gramma always taught her something new about Jesus. Louise always found her rag doll waiting for her on her bed.
Each year Louise made a new dress for her rag doll, to go with the new things she learned. Each dress had a special memory; the dress with the butterfly pattern was the time that she learned about becoming a new creature in Christ; the dress with the polka dots was the time she was sick with chicken pox and she learned about the men who had leprosy and Jesus who healed them; the one with the pretty red flowers was when she learned not to worry about tomorrow just like the lilies of the field who do not work, but God takes care of them.
Each year Louise learned something new and grew to love Jesus more. Each year Gramma got a little older. Each year Louise saw that maybe she wouldn’t have many more years to come visit Gramma. Soon Louise saw her Gramma starting to weaken and became sad and worried for her. “Don’t worry child,” Gramma told her. “Soon I’ll be with our Heavenly Father, and He’ll be watching over you too.”
The next year Louise went to her Gramma’s with her mother and father, not to visit, but to clean out her house after she had passed away. Louise went into her room and found her rag doll with all it’s dresses packed neatly into a box. She gently pulled out each tiny garment and thought back through all the years of memories.
She noticed that her rag doll was wearing it’s bright sunshine yellow dress and she smiled through her tears as she remembered the story that went with it; In the new heaven and new earth, there will be no need for the sun because God will be the light. Louise clasped her hands together and thanked God for her Gramma who had given her a lifetime of lessons and love.
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