Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."
1 John 4:7 (NIV)
She was the first to see me ride my bike without training wheels on my blue Care Bear bike. And she was the one who taught me the word "peacemaker"...a phrase she would so gently and kindly use when I was fighting with my siblings. "Be a peacemaker," she would whisper. She would come every Sunday night with her little blue suitcase (I loved that suitcase!) and would stay until Tuesday. She would sleep with me in my room and I cherished those days. She would bring me a little brown bag with some candies she picked up from the gas station. My favorite was always the "bit-o-honey." (Does anyone else remember those?) She played the piano unlike any other. She was too humble to brag, but she even studied at the Boston Conservatory when she was younger...yet, anytime you'd ask her to play, she would sheepishly say "I'm not that good anymore." It is because of her that Clair de Lune is my favorite masterpiece...a piece she played with beauty and ease.
In my memory box, I have two letters penned by her. I wish I had saved them all through the years, but I am thankful for the written words I have from her. One was a letter that is not dated, but I am guessing I was somewhere between the ages of 16 and 17. She wrote to me to say thank you for sending her a card. That just shows you what a thankful heart she had...that she would write a note of thanks just for me writing to her. She mentioned something about how "I must be enjoying learning to drive...and how she couldn't imagine learning to drive in the city." She then talked about all the iris' growing in her yard...that they were "all different shapes and colors and she loved them so much."
When at the market this week, I stumbled upon the most beautiful bouquet of iris'. My heart immediately was filled with many emotions, but mostly I was just thankful that I would see these beautiful flowers mere days before Easter. That visual gave me hope of not only that I would see my grandmother again, but that I would also one day be with my Savior. It made me look forward to Heaven in a way I had never experienced before.
The second is the last birthday card I ever received from her for my 23rd birthday. On the front it read "For love is of God. and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7" How appropriate that those were her final written words to me...they are so relevant with all the division in our world. God's words are so clear: LOVE one another. And we can only love one another if HE dwells in us. Real love shows that we have His Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and that we belong to Him. We are called His beloved for this reason. I would think if there was one legacy she would have wanted to leave behind is a reminder to love one another...it was why she would whisper "be a peacemaker" in my ear. And friends, she radiated Christ's love.
It's been almost 9 years since she went to her eternal home. I imagine Christ greeted her and showed her her home with a yard full of iris'. It is because of her, that I learned that it is not necessarily with my words that others will come to know Christ...that others will hopefully know Him because they will see Him living in me.
I cannot wait to hear her fingers playing Clair de Lune as I enter the gates of Heaven one day. Today, she celebrates Easter walking side by side with her Savior. And I am sure she brought Him a bouquet of her finest iris' to thank Him this morning.