Warriors and Grandmothers

I’m praying for my Grandma today. Her health seems to have taken a turn for the worse last night, and it sounds like she might be close to the end. None of us are really all that worried about Grandma’s death: Grandma seemingly least of all. She’s said that she’s actually looking forward to Heaven. All of her affairs are in order, and she’s ready for death. But still I feel compelled to pray for the dying part of things with my Grandma. I imagine that it can be very scary and uncomfortable to experience difficulty in breathing — and I wish there was some way to bypass the difficulties. I wish, and I hope… and I pray.

In this, I realize that I imitate my Grandma.

To look at her, you might not know it, but my Grandma is an absolute warrior. Of all the barrel-chested, testosterone-pumped, idealistic, twenty-something, young men I know — some of whom might even be willing to step out in traffic in order to shield me from danger — I can’t think of a single one who possesses the strength, power, and protection of my octogenarian grandmother.

She’s a prayer warrior. Not just one of those types who casually says, “I’ll pray for you,” as a way of basically saying that she just hopes things turn out for the best. If she says she’s going to pray for something, she does it. Sincerely, faithfully, and regularly. She asks follow-up questions about it later. She expects God to move through prayer, and experience has shown that her expectations are not in vain.

In all my years of life and ministry, there’s been an incredible feeling of protection to know that my Grandma has been praying for me.

I worry what it will be like to lose this layer of protection. I worry what it will feel like to have the weight of history bearing more directly, more heavily down on my shoulders and the shoulders of my generation. But I hope that I will keep learning and growing how to apply the lessons that my Grandma’s prayer habits have taught me. I desire to pray for my children — and, Lord willing, someday for my grandchildren — in the same way that Grandma prays for me. I pray that someday I might become a warrior like my Grandma.

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