Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)
TITLE: WARRIORS EYES!
By Kenneth Heath
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It is said that, seated around the throne of God are His mighty prayer warriors, grandmothers all. My grand mother was such a person. In 1981 my wife gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. A few weeks later my parents, my wife and I, together with our baby son, went to the old age home where my grandparents stayed. There my grandfather, my father, my son and I posed for a historic picture as the “first born males”, of four generations of our family line.
It was a special event for us all, but to me the look in my grandmother’s feeble eyes expressed so much more. She had Parkinson’s and her beautiful black hair was now only a silver memory. Reaching out with shaking hands, she received him to her breast. Gleefully, as she cradled him, she turned to the nurse and said; “Ek is nou ‘n ouma grootjie!” in Afrikaans, which translated means “I am now a great grand mother!” The fire that illuminated her eyes amplified the passion, with which she said those words. Warrior’s eyes, survivor’s eyes, eyes that had seen so much.
Born in 1910, she had grown up in abject poverty due to her people loosing the Boer war to Queen Victoria. Her people were denuded of everything except their faith in God. They had just started putting their lives back together when the great drought of 1913 devastated the land. Ten million sheep were lost to the drought and the farmers were forced to leave their land in search of employment. Standing in the soup queues with her mother she had seen and experienced hunger and poverty first hand. A spirit of despair was engulfing the nation, but my great grand parents persevered, allowing faith to lead them one day at a time. The advent of WW1 brought further hardships to the people, but they continued to believe God for a better tomorrow.
She married the love of her life in 1930, during the years of the great depression. My grandfather was forced to eke out a frugal living by working on the railroads. She gave birth to her first-born “William” in 1932, with two more sons and a daughter following. In her modest home she found peace, contentment and happiness. “Times are tough but God is good”, was her favourite saying.
Trusting in God meant that come what may there was always a meal on the table and a miraculous solution to a problem just around the corner. Pray without ceasing the Lord had said, and so she did. Enduring the further hardships of World War 2 she took care of her little family, sewing and cooking to bring in a little extra to supplement my grandfathers small salary. Her children grew up strong and healthy, leaving home find fame, fortune and naturally to marry. One fine day in 1957 my parents’ presented her first grandchild to her, yes I had arrived in all my screaming glory.
So great was her joy, that she immediately started sewing a quilt for me, which I still have. It is a single bed quilt, consisting of 416 brightly coloured crochet panels. She told me that as she crocheted each panel, she prayed over it and then prayed over them again as she sewed them all together. She said she prayed for our salvation and asked for God’s blessing and favour over our lives. There were five more grandchildren and for each, she sewed a quilt. Through the years our three children have taken turns to use the quilt, and it even served as a picnic blanket. Today it lays on a bed in our guest room, a colourful reminder of loving faithful prayer.
Holding her first great grand child in her arms was to her, her ultimate triumph as a mother, grandmother and now a great grandmother. Her faith had stood the test of time and though physically week, the fire in her belly was undiminished as it poured out through her hazel eyes as she saw before her the faithfulness of the Lord. About 5000 prayers went up as she sewed those quilts, and to date most have been answered.
Four months later my grandfather went to be with the Lord, and she followed thirty days later. She had fought the good fight to the very end, and I know that we all owe her a great debt of gratitude for all the prayers she offered up for us.
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