It was just 4 years ago this month that my grandmother on my mom’s side passed away. She was an incredible woman who was very fun to visit. She lived in the western panhandle of Nebraska, so there was land all around her. The tiny farm town in which she lived consisted of a main street that was just a few blocks from her home, so we could walk there most any time we wanted. If the sugar beet factory was processing beets, you could smell them for miles, and I would really rather not smell them. A train went through the outskirts of town. If you got stuck waiting for a train, you were guaranteed to add another 10 or more minutes to your travel time. To go visit grandma, was to visit another world all together, and I loved it.
Grandma had lived in that same small town since she had married my grandpa. She was in love with my grandpa. Even though he died the year I was born, she would talk about him as if he had just left yesterday. She married her great love and when we’d ask if she could ever remarry she would always answer no, how could she, when she was still in love with Carl. Grandma loved only one thing more than Carl and that was Jesus. Oh she loved Jesus. Everything came back to Jesus for her. She loved missionaries and missionary stories. She loved hosting friends and strangers a like and she loved and I mean loved to talk with Jesus.
She prayed for her family by name every week. She prayed for every family in her church by name every week. She prayed for her missionary friends, the president, the farmers, the sick … every week. When she was in her early 90’s she joined youth staff at her church, simply so she could pray with and for the students. The stories of Grandma Dorothy were, for the most part, filled with exuberant faith, dedication to people, hospitality , generosity, love for people and deep abiding love in Jesus that penetrated her life’s story.
We, as a family, were mostly all musical in some way, so we chose to have the grandchildren and children sing at the funeral. The song that came to mind, “Give me Jesus.” In the morning when I rise, when I am alone, and when I come to die… Give me Jesus. This was, in many ways, my grandma’s life song. Though she had never heard it, she lived with that intension in her heart and a longing for Him that shaped her.
Today’s practice is: Inviting Jesus
Think of your life as if it were a pie chart. You are one whole being, with many parts. Imagine each section of your pie chart. What are the sections? Close your eyes and think about each section, is Jesus invited to rule over each section? Are you fearful to have Jesus in every part or is he welcome? Imagine Jesus is sitting with you and simply welcome him into each part of your life’s whole. Even the places of secret shame, hurt or pain. Invite Jesus. Watch as you imagine Jesus walking through each part of your life. What happens when he enters each part?
As you go throughout your day, whenever you walk into a new room, or a different part of your skill set is being used, or you’re with a new set of people, welcome Jesus to be with you. “Come, Lord Jesus, you are welcome here.”
Listen: Give Me Jesus
Pray: Lord you are good. Jesus you are welcome as I wake. Be the center of my heart and life. As I prepare for the day ahead, you are welcome Jesus. As I go to work or school or play, you are welcome Jesus. When I struggle with my thoughts, you are welcome Jesus. When I worry about the future, my family, my friends, my plans, you are welcome Jesus. When I make my way home, you are welcome Jesus. When I relax in the evening, you are welcome Jesus. When loneliness enters in, you are welcome Jesus. When shame seeks to cover me, you are welcome Jesus. When I lay my head on my pillow, you are welcome Jesus. In every part of my life, every thought, action, relationship, memory and worry for the future, you are welcome. Jesus you are always welcome, thank you for being with me. Amen