Posted by: Jim Black | May 11, 2010

May 10… Grandmother’s Day

Katherine Crawley Black

I know yesterday, May 9th, was actually Mothers’ Day, but I can’t help but think of today as “Grandmother’s Day.” Today, my Grandmother would have turned 90! She was born on May 10, 1920… ninety short years ago today. She left us over eleven years ago, now, in March of 1999, but we haven’t forgotten her. Her ear to ear smile, her warm embrace and her soft lap are still just as sharp in my mind as if I had crawled up on her couch for her to read me a story yesterday.

I can’t believe she has been gone for so long, but then again, I can’t believe these last eleven years have flown by so fast. I’ve got four kids of my own now. I wish she would’ve gotten the chance to meet them… I know she would love them, too. Her life was always just about the children, at least as long as I knew her. My grandfather died in the 50’s when my dad was just five. She raised him and my uncle, Charlie, all by herself… a working, single-mom at a time when that was rare, and exceedingly hard. She did it, though, and raised two men that she was proud so proud of. Then it was all about us grandkids. My uncle Charlie and his wife, Jan, had April and John who grew up just down the road from me and my sister. Grandmother’s house was (literally) just over the hill and through the woods, so we were together often. We always spent holidays all together… Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving. Grandmother never sat down to eat until we were all just about done, since she was always so busy serving the rest of us. Wow… its funny how some memories are still so powerful, even after all these years. Boy, do I miss her.

I miss her love most of all. She was full of abundant, unwavering, unending and unfaltering love for us kids… the sort of love that God must have for us. It hit me as I was preparing my Mothers’ Day sermon last week that a mother’s love is the closest thing we ever really experience in this life to the kind of love God has for us. Agape is the Bible word for it. Unending, unwavering, unconditional are some others.

I also realized why William Young, when he was searching for an image to represent God in his book, THE SHACK, that he chose a mother. When I first read God being depicted as a woman, it struck me as more than a bit odd… but then I hit upon Isaiah 66:12-13, “I will extend peace to her (God’s people) like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you..” And I realized that while the dominant image of God in Scripture is as ‘Father’… he is also ‘Mother.’ At least that’s another image of the way he cares for us.

I owe my Grandmother Black so much… not the least of which is a greater understanding of the way God loves me, because I saw it in the way she did. Thanks, Grandmother. 

Happy Birthday!


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