Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Never Grow Old

I love Patty Griffin.  Her new album, Downtown Church, is amazing.  The songs are all old hymns and such.  One of my favorite is "Never Grow Old."  Here are the lyrics:

I have heard of a land on the far away strand
'Tis a beautiful home of the soul
Built by Jesus on high, there we never shall die
'Tis a land where we never grow old

Never grow old, never grow old

In a land where we'll never grow old
Never grow old, never grow old
In a land where we'll never grow old

In that beautiful home where we'll never more roam

We shall be in the sweet by and by
Happy praise to the king thru eternity sing
'Tis a land where we never shall die

When our work here is done and the life crown is won

And out troubles and trials are o'er
All our sorrows will end and our voices will blend
With the loved ones who've gone on before


Knowing that my grandmother is nearing the end of her life on earth, I have to guard myself from being overwhelmed by death.  It's often hard to see beyond the finite.  It's one thing to know that she'll be with Jesus when her time finally comes, but it's another to actual live life without her in it.  It's a daily battle to choose to see light instead of darkness.  It's so easy to sink back into a place where I dwell only in a worldly realm.  Thank goodness that God is gracious and He finds ways to lead me from a dismal journey to one that captures the joy in all things -- even in death.  This song, originally written in 1914, reminds me -- what better place to be than where our sorrows are no more? when our voices will blend with those who've gone on before?  where we can sing praises forever to our King?  Like everything, death needs perspective.  What an amazing peace transforms my soul when I know that where she goes is a million times better than were she is now and that one day, I will be lifting my voice with hers.  Perhaps there we will actually sound good together!

Last night, I was using a Snapfish coupon -- spend $10 and get a free coffee cup.  I chose to put a picture of my grandmother and me on it.  It's not your typical picture -- no faces in the  mix at all.  It's simply a picture of our hands entwined.  I took it in February when I went to see her in the hospital.  Physically, she looks so different -- the cancer and other illnesses have definitely taken a toll on her appearance.  Her hands, though, to me, have never seemed to change much.  Even though I had reached out to her, to give  her comfort and assurance, it was a mere sliver of what she has given to me all those years.  She has held my hand literally and figuratively since I was first born.  She has been that constant source of strength, joy, and love.  So now, every morning as I drink my tea, I will be reminded that I have been loved.  The verse that I had printed with the picture?  "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  2 Timothy 4:7

You have done good, Grannie.

5 comments :

  1. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "It's often hard to see beyond the infinite."

    It's always hard, as everything we know as human beings in our experience on earth is finite. This is what makes it so difficult to grasp the concept of a God that is eternal and omnipotent. It is what makes faith such an important part of our connection with the divine. Without faith, the justification of God's existence is an unreasonable and irrational endeavor. Anyway...enough of that...
    It has been good to see Betty...been a long time. She has helped my mother and I out a lot along the way. We lived over there on Woodside Drive for a couple of months one summer when my mother was going through a divorce, and again for a shorter period, through another divorce. I remember all of the nights that my mother and Aunt Betty sat in the kitchen smoking cigarettes and drinking strong coffee. She was there for us in a way that other members of the family couldn't be, or more aptly, did not have the ability to be.
    I'm glad that I happen to be down here in Florida right now so that I have the chance to see her again before she goes. I'm going to miss her,and all of her spunky character, as will lots of folks.
    It was good to read this Jen. I'm looking forward to seeing how your blog evolves!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, Jen,

    I just came over from Home Sanctuary. What a breath of fresh air! I really like the name of your blog!

    I love this song, and will be praying for you and your family as you go through the next few weeks.

    All of my grandparents are in Heaven now, but reading your post sure brought back lots of good memories of me spending time with them...

    Hoping that you have a blessed day!

    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello, Jen. I came over from Blessings at Our House. What a beautiful, touching picture.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Sorry I deleted my previous comment by accident.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jen, I did read this post, and it made me tear up. I am very close to my grandmother, age 95. Although she's had some scary falls in the past 6 months (broken hip, and pelvic bone) she is not the one with cancer. My grandmother and grandpa were my greatest example of what love between two spouses should look like when I was growing up. Now that grandpa has passed, she still speaks ever so fondly of him...even his stubbornness! I can completely relate to your ties with your grandmother. I will pray for peace as you prepare to say your final goodbyes.

    Thank you for praying for me also,
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete

Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.