Tribute to Grandma Skies and Living Jesus

Yuck, sometimes I feel so grossed by my non-love. I am such a selfish person. I don’t think I act like a child of the Father. I don’t think I show love. I just read 1 John 3, and go figure, it was immensely convicting. How often do I “live in Him?” There is verse after verse about how when you become God’s child you will stop sinning. Considering I am a bit too professional at being selfish, automatically I start wondering how I am God’s child. Its kinda like a kid realizing for the first time they don’t look like their parents or anyone else in the family . . . I guess I’m adopted.

Yesterday at my Grandma’s memorial service the pastor was talking about how Grandma was not her normal self at the end of her life. She was focused on getting her orange sherbet, RC Cola, and that “Fat Free Skim Milk” was a redundant title. She became more determined, impatience, self-focused, hard in understanding logic, and even her personality changed to a degree. This impart was due to her strokes, losing brain-matter. I also think people automatically revert into self-focused behavior when their physical body seems threatened. Its like a survival mode that humans seem to switch into when they are hurt, sick, tired, pmsed, and other abnormal states of being. They might be themselves, but not always their most pleasant, life-giving selves. The pastor was saying he became frustrated with Grandma as she wasn’t getting his logic. Then the idea came to him to appeal to her “spirit,” the child of God, the person who has become “fixed,” forgiven, and alive in God. So he sang a song with her about focusing on God. Go figure, she changed, she became peaceful and God focused.

I guess that kinda stood out to me. We are in this constant battle inside ourselves that Paul describes, doing what we don’t want to do and not able to do what we hope to do. We have a part of us that is so human in a physical body that is dying. But God said He has changed our spirit, overlooking, and wiping away our selfish nature so we can become like Him.

Another thing the pastor said at my Grandma’s memorial service was that my her life was about Jesus. In honesty, sometimes I was pretty unsatisfied with my interaction with my Grandma. She was so proud of her family, though in a good way. She would often brag about me to my cousins and brag about my cousins to me. I had the feeling that she never cared more than just to find more information to be proud of. I guess you could say I didn’t have the personal relationship I wish I had with her. Yet in retrospect, that was undoubtedly outweighed by the things about her that were just amazing. There are plenty of things I remember about her: making us cousins matching clothing, babysitting us (and saving my life), camping, public display of personal, um, stuff, walking in the rain, and singing “Tell Me Why.” But what really stands out to me was her faith. If no one else in the world had faith, she still did. She started churches. Started and lead Bible studies. She actually would pray for people, intensely, regularly. She watched the world news to pray for current events. She loved to worship God; to sing about Him and tell about how awesome He is to others. Her conversations, letters, and thoughts would always shortly lead back to being about Jesus. She lived for Him. Energy or no energy, able to do things or not, she continually maintained a relationship with Jesus and followed Him. I’m sure she struggled in life, I know she made unwise decisions that hurt herself and others in her life time. She wasn’t perfect. But her life was about Jesus. Whether religious or anti-religious, it is impossible to deny that her life was entwined in her belief about her personal Lord.

On that note, of course, I was wondering what people would say about me if I died now. I think I might have an idea about what my family would say, or my friends in CA or other places around the globe. But I wonder what people would say among those who live where I do now, in the D.C. area. Yes, people would know I was a Christian. But would they really say my life was about Jesus? That I was fully alive? I’ve been thinking a lot about what my life back home looks like and in some ways I think it is very trite. Valuable, fun, and often meaningful. But too often it is satisfied with something less than I believe my life should contain. For once I am not saying this because I am not content. I am saying this because I am where I should be (location) but I don’t live like I should. I don’t live wrong, I just don’t live to the fullest. By the fullest I am not referring to “doing” more either. But really investing in my relationship with Jesus and my relationships with others. No wonder so often I am not content. I often let spiritual laziness and selfishness rule while I live a ‘wonderful’ American life. Even though I am a Christian and try to follow Jesus, I let the dead part of me live a little too much. After meditating on my Grandma’s life I am convinced I want her legacy to live on: I want to live Jesus.


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