I was seventeen when a man got off the city bus and followed me home.
He was a quiet, bearded guy who’d engaged me in a few conversations during my rides home from work, but when he asked for a date I didn’t know how to handle it. All I knew about him was that he was quiet and had a beard the same color of red as my dad’s. I liked his appearance but had no desire to start cultivating a relationship with him.
Hoping it would scare him away without having to say no, I told him he needed to meet my folks. He agreed to come. Today.
I felt trapped.
When we came in the front door my hopes for a quick way to send him packing plummeted. For there in our living room was my grandma, sizing us up through her thick glasses.
There was no escape, so I introduced them and ducked into the kitchen to find our guest something to drink.
My Grandma Kocher looked at life simply, having raised a large family with an invalid husband through the depression. My dad remembers her leaving the house early in the morning to walk to a neighbor’s farm and milk the cow, deliver the pail back home, then head for work in the fruit packing plant. (My favorite memory of her is the open Bible on the kitchen table where she and Grandpa sat to read every night.}
I returned to the living room in time to hear my no-nonsense Grandma ask him,
“Of course, you are a Christian?”
He didn’t stay long, which I guess is what I wanted. Still, did she have to embarrass me like that?
My other grandma was no easier on me. She overheard me expressing interest in a boy from school, and she jumped right into the conversation.
“Does he love the Lord?”
I protested inwardly. Of course he loved the Lord, or at least he would once he got to know him. Besides, there was more to consider than just loving God. What people believe and how they live are important, too. I was more concerned about him being a good worker. Does he have a faithful heart? Does he speak kindly?
But my grandmothers were right. Loving God is the most important thing.
” ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-39 NIV).
I prayed God would send me a husband who loved God more than anything, including me. My prayer must have narrowed the field considerably, because I waited a long time before Jerry invited me to link my life with his.
My prayer today: Thank you, Lord, for my persistent grandmothers who taught me the important things. And thank you for your patience with me as I learn your ways. I do love you, most of all for sending your Son to pay my overwhelming debt. Thank you!
by Kathy Sheldon Davis
Note: The OCW summer writers conference last week filled me with new insight and motivation, so I’m rearranging some of my priorities. From now on I’ll be posting less frequently on my blog in order to concentrate more on my contracted work and story ideas. You can still find me on Facebook and Twitter, where I’ll continue to talk about writing and family with a touch of scripture. See you there!