I am a preacher. In fact, I'm the first preacher ever in my family. I didn't intend to be a preacher, my original goal was to run for office and be elected to Congress. I guess you could say that my goal and God's led two different paths - until God spoke through Grandmother.
Every day after school when I came through the front door, Grandmother would be sitting there waiting for me. she came to live with us after Pops died. It worked out well for all of us. Grandmother didn't have to live alone, and she was always there for me after school while my parents were at work. She always had something ready for me to eat. I was usually starving after school. The cafeteria food was terrible, and besides, I often skipped lunch to save my lunch money for the next video game I wanted. My parents always seemed surprised when I had so much extra money for video games.
When I came home hungry, Grandmother saved the day. As I gulped down the sandwich she fixed, she would ask me about school, my friends, and my soccer team. We had great visits. So how did that lead to my being a preacher?
Well, after my snack, Grandmother always insisted we read a verse of scripture from her Bible. It was very old and filled with her handwritten notes. She had kept a record of all the major points from every sermon, lesson, and Bible study she had heard. Grandmother's Bible was a full commentary.
Her favorite way to teach me a verse was to make it personal for me. "The Lord is Robert's shepherd, Robert shall not want." Or, "For Robert is God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works." But my favorite verse was John 3:16, and she read it to me often. First, Grandmother would say, "Robert, your name is right here in the Bible." And then she would show me how she had crossed through "world" and written my name in it's place! I loved seeing my name in the Bible. I felt so important!
Then the day come when she read a verse from Romans. "How then, shall they preach, except they be sent? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without Robert to tell them?"
In that moment, I didn't hear Grandmother's familiar voice. I heard from God. When you think about it, God really can speak through grandmothers and grandfathers if only they will let him. I know that he spoke to me through my grandmother that afternoon.
My grandfather had lots of old cigar boxes, and Grandmother would let me stack them one on top of the other to form a makeshift pulpit. I would borrow her Bible and preach a sermon. She listened intently and would always tell me how great my "sermon" was. I cannot remember one word of those bygone sermons, but I always see her smiling face when I stand before a real pulpit now.
Now I'm forty and Grandmother has been with Jesus for many years. after I preached her funeral, Dad gave me her Bible. That book, which I had seen for so many years open on her lap, now lies open on my desk. Each week as I sit down to prepare a message, I use many resources, dictionaries, and commentaries. But I'm never fully ready to preach until I have consulted Grandmother's Bible. In a real way, she's still teaching me God's Word after all these years.
Taken from "Hugs for Grandparents"
by Dr. Larry Keefauver
Copyrighted and published by Howard Publishing Company 1998