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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)

TITLE: Ambassadors of Grace
By Sandy Ott


Growing up I spent many a day with my paternal grandparents. My three older sisters and I lived there off and on during our parents’ tumultuous relationship and after their divorce. Many wonderful memories of being a young child in that household, recalling the wonderful smells of the food my grandmother prepared every day, helping Mammaw with the chores and being loved unconditionally still bring a feeling joy to my heart.

A morning with my sisters before school was always an affair. Mammaw did not believe in skimpy meals for growing young girls or for my Pappaw for that matter. “You need start your day right”, she would say with that sweet smile on her face. Waking us up in her gentle way and getting the older ones ready for school in their freshly pressed dresses, their hair just right and well fed was a priority for her. Being too young for school yet, she would wrap me in one of her handmade quilts and let me snuggle on the couch to watch cartoons until the girls were ready to embark on the day.

We lived by a two lane highway with a set of well traveled train tracks nearby in Eastern Kentucky where southern hospitality was a must. At lunch time my Pappaw would come home to eat where Mammaw and I had a hot lunch waiting which usually included his favorite cherry pie for dessert. One day we were just sitting down to eat when a knock came at the door. Pappaw got up to go see who had come to visit and found a young fellow standing on the stoop. My grandparents never knew a stranger, or at least if they did they didn’t stay strangers for long. They were excellent judges of character and had hearts for helping others.

The young man said his car had broken down up the road a piece and he wanted to call someone for help. Being only about four years old at the time, all I knew was we didn’t know him, but he looked like a nice enough man. He was not real tall and had on work clothes similar to what my Pappaw always wore. He was clean but not too neat. He had gentle eyes and a nice smile but there was something that made him look a bit reserved.

After talking to him a moment, doing his initial size up, Pappaw invited him in to use the telephone. Mammaw offered, or should I say insisted, that he eat some lunch while he waited and rest a bit. She had a way about her where not many could ever say no to her earnest offer of food especially when the smell of fried chicken and hot pie was still wafting through the air.

Our visitor took a seat at the table and although he started timidly, before long he was eating, talking and seemed much more at ease. He talked about being new to the area and not really knowing anyone. Concerned about his car Pappaw offered to go take a look and see what he could do. As it turned out he was starting a new job at the plant Pappaw and Mammaw worked at across the highway. The young man and his new wife had recently moved to our town looking for a place to settle down.

Sitting at that table, at such a young age, I still remember watching as my grandparents were able to show love to this “stranger”. They greeted him, fed him, aided him and became a friend to him all because his car ”just happened” to break down where it did. At that time I didn’t know what a divine appointment from God was or recognize His outstanding grace at work. Looking back I realize there have been numerous times in my life that I witnessed just such an occasion. Not all of these involved strangers coming to the door or those met out in the world at large, some were with family members and close friends. I learned how to care and share the love of God by being willing to meet the needs of others from two of the best ambassadors of grace I have ever seen. What a blessing it was to have them as examples in my life and being their granddaughter, well, was a huge bonus!

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This article has been read 227 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Grace Merkey04/29/11
Your grandparents were outstanding, no doubt. You did well with this.
Laury Hubrich 05/03/11
I feel like I know your grandparents a little. Thank you for sharing them with me:)
Virgil Youngblood 05/04/11
Thanks for sharing these outstanding memories. This was an enjoyable read.