As I mentioned in the previous post, my great-grandmother – Grandma Gertie, as we called her – was one of the godliest women I’ve ever known.
Before she died, my family and I had made the six-hour drive from St. Louis to her retirement center in North Manchester, Indiana. We had spent the week laughing and talking, playing games and listening to her stories. She had so many stories.
When it was time to go home, I got to stay behind for another week with my great-aunt Judy. We were together when a nurse called late one night to tell us that Grandma Gertie wasn’t going to make it.
I grabbed her Bible off of her nightstand and we hurried to the hospital wing where she had spent her last few days. I wish I could remember what I read to her that night. I know it was from Psalms – she loved that book most. I was holding her hand when she passed.
Gertie knew Jesus. She didn’t just know about Him. She knew Him and loved Him. I watched her take her last breath and realized that there was nothing that she wanted more than to be with Him and, soon, she would be.
I also realized that if I died I wouldn’t be with Him. I wasn’t a Christian. I knew about Jesus, but I didn’t know Jesus and I didn’t love Him.
I wish I could tell you I made the decision to accept the grace of God that night. I wish I could tell you that right then I put my trust in Him. I wish I could tell you from that day forward He was the object of my faith and the reason for my hope. I wish I could tell you all that, but I can’t.
I took her Bible home with me. I began reading the notes she had made in the margins of nearly every page. Then, I started reading the words she had been reflecting on.
I read about the love of God and the grace Jesus offered. I read about forgiveness and hope and joy and peace. Grandma Gertie had all of those things. I wanted them, too. So, after months of God relentlessly drawing me towards Himself – through His Word and through Gertie's example – I finally accepted Christ.
Witnessing her faith encouraged mine. Watching her life changed mine.
There are people witnessing our faith and watching our lives. We all leave a legacy.
The question is what kind of legacy we will leave. I hope I leave a legacy like Gertie.