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A Grandmother’s Loving Touch

Loving others means reaching into the lives around us. It’s the way we’re called to live.

A grandmother is celebrated by how she touched the lives of others.

There’s a picture of my grandparents on my bedside table. It was taken in the 1940’s and Mamo and Papo are sitting on the bumper of a car. Mamo’s reaching around Papo. One hand is on his shoulder and with the other she’s holding his chin. She’s giving him a kiss.

My grandmother was like that. Tactile. In every picture that I can find, she’s touching someone.

I remember being a young girl, sitting on the sofa next to Mamo. While we’d talk, she’d rub my back or run her fingers through my hair. Later, when I was grown up, Mamo would reach out and touch my face or hold my hand. Even as she approached heaven, my grandmother reached for those she’d leave behind. Over the years I watched Mamo’s touch bless those around her. It offered affection, provided care and made one feel loved, accepted, valued and secure.

Her touch spoke.

Today, when I wake and see that photograph, I think about my grandmother’s way of reaching out and touching others. And as morning lights my bedroom and calls me to move toward my day, I consider the possibilities of reaching into the lives of others, not with a physical touch, but with the love, mercy and life-saving gospel of Jesus.

It often comes to heart that Jesus said that the most important commandment was to love the Lord and the second was to love others. Loving others, I understand this morning, means reaching into the lives around us.  But reaching out isn’t always easy. It takes intention. It takes time. It can be messy. It can pull me out of my wild but safe routine and into the needs of someone else.

It can feel like a sacrifice.

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It seems that today’s culture presses us into a lifestyle that’s increasingly self-centered. We’re busy. Distracted. Working 24/7 to take care of our own. Yet this isn’t the way the Lord calls us to live…

Loving others means reaching into a life that is not ours.

As I make coffee, jostle my husband from bed and shake three young sons from their slumber, these plans become consuming and thoughts of my grandmother’s passion becomes a prayer: Lord, give me the heart to reach into the lives of those around me today. Bring someone who needs your love. Give me the eyes to see, a heart to give, and a desire to reach.

I’m grateful for my grandmother for many reasons. I couldn’t count them if I tried. I miss her daily but understand that she’s a part of who I am. Of who I want to be.

Today I’ll use her example to reach into the life of someone else–with God’s kind of love.

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