Every now and then, I think about visits to my grandma’s house growing up. The way she wouldn’t just give you one kiss when she hugged your neck, but would repeatedly peck until she confidently felt like she got the point across.
She always kept these little vanilla cookies shaped like wreaths in a clear jar on the kitchen counter. I would place them on my finger and wear them as one by one, they made their way into my mouth. I didn’t realize it then as much as I do now, but they kind of became a trademark of hers. The same way her gentle spirit and southern sayings like, “Over yonder”, did.
I was on the phone with a member of our church last week who had the same inflection in her voice as my Maw Maw. The same tone that made you feel like no matter how dark the dark was in any situation, there would always be light. My eyes held tears when we hung up because she felt so tangible then.
I kept wondering what was causing the tears, because in that particular moment, I didn’t feel sadness or grief. And then I realized – it was the comfort of knowing that there are still people in the world who view things as simply as my Maw Maw did.
She had this grace about her that just made everything feel light and easy. Like whatever was stressing me out was stressing me out because I was over-complicating it, not because it was actually as stressful as I was making it out to be. That’s the kind of person I want to be. I want to live casting my cares upon Christ because I know that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:2-30) Life is too short to live any other way than hugging people’s necks and keeping an always full cookie jar on the counter.
Part of it may have been southern hospitality, but most of it was Jesus.
I want my life to leave the legacy of “light and easy”, not “fast-paced, busy, get ‘er done, never stopping, goal accomplishing”. Nothing’s wrong with motivation and meeting goals, but really, people are going to remember you for how you loved. That’s how I remember my Maw Maw. She defined Hebrew 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
If we accomplish all of our dreams and don’t take the time to genuinely love people along the way, we’ve really accomplished nothing.