I can still remember the aroma in that church in Bradenton, Florida. The smell of aged wood from the floors and the pews served as a reminder that we were part of a bigger, ongoing story. The air was thick with the stories of people like my grandmother and others who had struggled through the Great Depression and other personal crises, only to end up back with God’s imperfect people every week in worship.
Every time I set foot in one of those old church buildings I think of my grandmother, whose birthday would have been today. I am thankful that she was faithful to take my mom and uncles to church each Sunday. Not to exalt her to an impossible pedestal, but her legacy has been a deciding factor in my spiritual life. What she invested into the lives of her kids was also invested into me through my mom.
My journey hasn’t been the only one indirectly impacted by grandma’s faithfulness. My sister and my cousins have tasted salvation in part because of her faithfulness. My late cousin Mark was unexpectedly taken from us almost a year ago. Though we were hurt by the loss, we know that his refuge in life and death was Christ because his parents carried on a legacy of faith that Mark connected with.
I suspect that God brought Grandma’s birthday to my attention this year to remind me that no matter how long our days may be, we are not islands of personal isolation. Our decisions create a ripple effect on those around us and on the generations that follow.