July 8 – United: Country – Titus 3

Read Titus 3:1-15

I often think of good works of my Grandma Smith. Having been raised in a single parent home after my father died when I was only in 3rd grade, I spent many hours in my grandmother’s care. She would watch me after school and over the summer when my mom was working. She was a woman of few words, but it was her actions that spoke the loudest to me. Time and time again she opened her house to us when mom was struggling financially. Yet, I don’t remember her ever getting mad at me no matter how many times I raced through her clean house or the freshly laundered sheets hanging on the clothes line in the back yard.   I do remember her literally piling us and all our friends one on top of another in her old car (this was before seat belts) to make sure we went to Bible School each year. Why? Why was that so important to her?  If the church doors were open, she was there making mincemeat, helping with rummage sales or any other project. I don’t know about her spiritual journey, conversion or why she was compelled to service. I really wish I did.

But I have an idea.

Grandma’s life hadn’t been easy. She had had 2 marriages. Her first husband had deserted her and her second husband (my grandpa)  had been a violent alcoholic.  She had to basically raise 9 kids on her own.  She finally divorced my grandpa but then remarried him a few years later, and they stayed married until his death several years later. That forgiveness story is lost with time but it must have been an interesting one! Is that why she dedicated her life to serving people and her church?

Another hint to the answer is also one of my fondest memories of Grandma’s house.  It was her giant family Bible that she read from every morning. It was huge and was always lying open on her dining room table. I was just little and couldn’t read it myself, but I knew what was written in it from watching Grandma.  She put those words that I couldn’t read into action!

Her service model has been handed down through generation after generation. All of her own children, grandchildren and even most of her great, great grandchildren are involved in their own churches or some kind of ministry. She would be humbly proud of them.

What will your family, friends and neighbors remember about you? What does your love for the Lord look like in action? Will they see that love through their memories of your actions? Will they replicate it in serving others as well?

Patricia Arnold


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