by Dr. Les Beyer
My grandparents lived directly behind the Lutheran elementary school I attended. The only thing that separated the school from their home was the playground fence.
Sometimes, on school days, my cousins and I got to go around the block to Grandma’s house for lunch. Sometimes we just stopped in to say hi. One noon hour it was raining, and we couldn’t play outside after we ate lunch. So my cousin, Don, and Igrabbed our umbrellas and ran to Grandma’s house,probably hoping to get some dessert.
Grandma was sitting in a rocker on her front porch. She immediately told us there were cupcakes in the kitchen. Grandma had been quite sick. I don’t remember what her problems were, but I do remember she had lost one eye and had poor vision in her other eye. We knew our parents would be sure to ask us how she was doing, so Don and I dutifully asked Grandma.
She said something like this: “I’m OK, but I’m not doing real well.” Of course, that didn’t make much sense to a young boy, but I also vividly remember her saying, “Sometimes I try to read a little and pray and sin for a while. And then when I get tired from doing that, I just sit still and let God love me.”
Her words had a strong impact on me. But neither Don nor I said anything to Grandma about it, or to each other. We just went back to the kitchen and got another cupcake. However, many years later when Don and I happened to be together, we began talking about our childhood. When Grandma’s name came up, both of us immediately mentioned, “I just sit still and let God love me.”
We spoke about the fact that while we didn’t say anything to each other at the time, her comment had provided a very strong memory. We both remembered how we saw a tear in her eye and a smile on her face when she said it.
Our experience with Grandma had helped us realize the opportunities we also have to “just sit still” sometimes—not asking for things, but simply enjoying God’s love. Now that I’ve reached age 83 myself, I continue to pray that when I have tears in my eyes and may not “be doing real well,” I might also have a smile on my face, knowing that God still loves me.
When we’re feeling stressed, rushed, frustrated, or angry, we also have the opportunity to put a smile back on our face as we simply sit, stand, or lie down quietly, thinking of His love. Jesus was certainly correct when He talked about the great power of love.
Don and I, like many of us, began at a very young age to think of God’s love as we sang “Jesus loves me! This I know / For the Bible tells me so.” It is certainly true that throughout God’s Word we are reminded again and again of God’s great love for us.
The first verse of another hymn-prayer also says it well:
I look to You, and You are love,
And Father, You are here.
While close to You, my heart is love,
And praise replaces fear.
My Lord, my God, You’re with me now,
I love and I am free.
Stay near and breathe just one desire
To love as You love me.*
* From “I Look to You, and You Are Love” by Ken Bible, © 1993 by LNWhymns.com. Administered by The Copyright Company, P.O. Box 128139, Nashville, TN 37212-8139. Used by permission.