Twenty years later, I find her words ringing in my ears. I miss that voice enough to squeeze my eyes shut hard, stop the tears springing up and listen. How I cherish this hands on hips proclamation returned to me. Would that she could too.
We were rolling down some Montana highway when she’d marched to the back of the motor home and stood over us. My cousin and I were each perched on skinny twin couches next to a window.
“You may not read one more page of those books until you look out the window for at least 30 minutes!”
Even though I knew Grandma was given to passionate proclamations from time to time, this one surprised me. After all, she was an avid reader. That same summer, I’d caught her up “way too late” because she couldn’t stop the turning of the page.
Still, there was another narrative she found more powerful than any type engraved in paper. The one that has no words, yet speaks with a powerful voice, declaring the glory of God. That was the one she was compelled to help us discover.
And she did. A thousand times before and after, so subtly that I’m not sure a one of us were cognizant of it at the time: slipping into a chair on the front deck at sunrise, coffee cup in hand; going barefoot through the ice cold stream; stopping on the trail to photograph a tiny pink flower; laughing at the fish jumping in the hatchery brook for five cent handfuls of food. Peaks out the window, all.
Grandma, today I want you to know I’m listening. I’m pulling my nose out of the book of daily living for a look out the window, for a listen to the glory song. I need to hear it. I need to remember that the very thing that lifts me to a place of holy wonder is also the thing that grounds me - the worship of my Creator.
Looking out the window, the incomplete count continues:
491. Snail mail
506. 95 Manjui Baptized, wish I could have seen it with my own eyes!
536. Family visiting from Colombia and the USA
570. Sanapana Scripture portions ready for printing
587. Pain that pushes us hard into Jesus
606. Cries of inadequacy
607. His sufficiency
726. Grandma Bert
756. Dreams – wild, crazy, with God all things are possible dreams
776. Salmon Sky
781. Wild love, undeserved
788. My wonderful, merciful Savior