The simple faith of our grandmothers

Well they buried me last Tuesday morn,
The good Lord came, He took me home,
I closed my eyes and quickly went away
But the angels let me see her everyday

Waiting on June, our mansion is so grand
Waiting on June, footprints in the sand
Waiting on June, that’s the story of my life
Cause me and Jesus are standing here ’til she walks through that light
Waiting on June
I’m still waiting on June,
I’m always waiting on June.
No more waiting on June
-Waiting on June
Holly Williams

Those lyrics come from a beautiful song by Holly Williams titled “Waiting on June”. I cannot listen to that song with out tears breaking forth from my heart. It reminds me so deeply of my maternal Grandparents who passed on years ago. I miss them daily and deeply.

My return to the spiritual tradition of Christianity was largely influenced by my grandmother…but not while she was alive. Actually, I think the best way to think about it is that my grandmother planted time bombs of faith deep in my heart throughout out all the years we shared together. She planted subtle things inside of me that burst forth in time and here I am today, years after her death, reeling in stunned awe at the transformations in my life.

I don’t often listen to “Waiting on June” because it is too hard. It rips my heart open and I am left shaking for a day or so. Yesterday it popped up on my shuffle and I just let it play as I drove to work. By the time I pulled into the parking lot my eyes were red from crying. Ancient Christian mystics described this as the Gift of Tears.

Something new showed itself to me in the song yesterday, and that is the simple faith of my grandmother. Her simple faith that even though she died before my grandfather, and knew how lonely he would be without her, she also knew, had diamond hard faith, that she would be waiting for him in heaven, that their mansion would be so grand, that Jesus would be there with them, with all of our loved ones, in eternity.

Most of my life I have thought I was too clever for such a simple faith. I, in my foolish ignorance, thought such a simple faith was foolish…my God, how different I see it today.

Today I pray for the grace of the simple faith of my grandmother. As I pray I see her smiling down upon me from her mansion in heaven, with my grandfather, with Jesus. It is the salve that heals my wounded heart. It is the power that blows my small heart open and makes room for something much bigger. I pray for the grace of my grandmother’s simple and mighty faith.


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