28 April 2020
Granny was unapologetically Charlestonian. She loved her hominy (grits); she handled live crab with her bare hands; she rolled her eyes when anyone insinuated that Savannah was the Holy City’s equal. (I roll my eyes too.) In public, Granny was gregarious and commanding, gifted with the ability to silence and then direct a crowd by deploying her trademark, “Now listen here…!” In private, Granny’s authentic love for us came through; she always made time to hear each of our stories, offer advice, and remind us that God would help us endure all things. Granny was my “mother confessor.” Granny’s intellect dwarfed my own. Granny shared the newspaper with me many mornings, quizzing me to see if I was fully abreast of the happenings in the world. One Saturday, in front of a 13-inch black-and-white TV, Granny clandestinely introduced me to Notre Dame football while the rest of the family kept shouting “Roll Tide!” at their own screens.
As the weeks of our collective captivity become months, I find myself leaning on the lessons of the saints like Granny. And you? Maybe you’re finding old recipes for breads and casseroles, making your kitchen the epicenter of family life. Maybe you’re seeking dusty photo albums to revisit and retell great stories from the analog days before our histories were only memorialized on Facebook. I suspect many of you are taking the time to pass on the wisdom and encouragement that were shared with you.
We are, as scripture reminds us, “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.” May the witnesses who surround us—the saints—inspire us to encircle our beloved ones with love that heals, teaches, and encourages.
I’ll keep the hominy on simmer and keep pullin’ for the Irish, Granny.
Reading for Today: Hebrews 12:1-12