Breath on Paper small group is taking a break between semesters. For the next few weeks we are taking advantage of this time off, we hope you enjoy revisiting our favorites. We will return June 12th.
She was as unassuming as her name. But the words she spoke to me, and the lessons she taught me about Jesus, still sound through the halls of my heart and mind. The impact Wilma had on my life was far reaching. Is far reaching.
Wilma was my grandmother, and she sewed godly wisdom into the fabric of my life, and it made all the difference. I remember being a young girl riding in the front seat of my grandmother’s humongous car during one summer day. It must have been a thousand degrees outside, and the car’s air conditioner was struggling to keep us cool. As it fell farther and farther behind, I noticed that my legs had become permanently stuck to the leather seat. At least I thought they were permanently stuck.
Talking over the whirr of the air conditioner, my grandmother asked me, “What do you think the devil looks like?”
Wilma would do that sometimes. Ask a question. Sometimes I had no idea what the answer to her question was, but this time I knew. I had it on good authority that the enemy of my soul was one ugly dude. He was red, black, scaly, had claws, a forked tongue, horns and a pointy tale. And he carried a pitch fork with which to spear people.
Then came the slight grin.
I had learned that the grin always preceded some truth.
It was that day that I learned some about my adversary. My grandmother told me that my enemy was actually quite beautiful. That he had been a favored angel in heaven, and that God had made him attractive. She told me that the devil could look oh so pretty, and if I wasn’t careful, he could distract me from the wonderful things that God had for me.
That conversation took place nearly thirty years ago, but I remember it as if it happened yesterday, down to the last detail. I am who I am today largely because of the investment Wilma made in my life. My grandmother has left this life for the next one, but her words… her words remain.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5
The Apostle Paul knew the impact that both Lois and Eunice had had on the life of Timothy. His brief mention of them in the Bible attests to that. He mentions them twice only, and seemingly in passing, but Paul understood the investment those women had made in the life of Timothy had changed him forever. It is because of Paul’s shout out, that we even talk of them today.
Former pastor and present leadership guru, John Maxwell, likes to put that investment in these terms. John says that we must be about adding value to people. That goes against our social norms, doesn’t it? Our society encourages us to add value to self, but if we choose to live as Christ lived, we are called to add value to others. There is no price I could put on the value that Wilma added to my life.
Grace to you… and peace,
I first met Stacey Benson through the Women’s Lead Team at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL where her entire family serves faithfully. She is a beautiful wife and a loving mother to four very talented young adult children. Stacey works as a nurse and she and her husband have been in ministry for over twenty years. Her blog, Cracked Pot Pieces is the passionate overflow from her heart and what she has learned as she draws closer to God. Thank you Stacey!