Grandma's Quilt of Prayer (Day 1 from Cleansing Thoughts

      IT WAS A WARM FALL day, and I had decided to take a drive in the country. The beauty of the season was breathtaking with all the rolling hills ripe with the coming harvest and the shades of color that brought the woods to life as it framed each field. Just ahead of me, I could see an abandoned farmhouse. So on an impulse, I pull into the lane just to sir for a minute and look at the view. How beautiful it was, a landscape just waiting to be painted, but in my heart, I knew its inner message could never be captured on canvas. If we could fly overhead like the birds, we would see the touch of the Master's hand as He created this priceless heirloom to be handed down from generation to generation, a quilt of human history to be cherished by all who saw it, as endless as words written in the pages of our hearts long after the writer was gone. Only this was God's masterpiece, as unforgettable as it was timeless, written in the pages of our hearts, and to be read throughout eternity. For you see, it spoke to me of the coming harvest and all those whose lives were spent as reapers in the kingdom of God.

    My thoughts turned to my grandmother as the memories of her prayers for each of us brought a smile to my face, and I thought of the quilts she used to make from our old clothing. When I would stay with her, she would cover my sister and me up with one of those quilts, and as I asked her about the pattern of each square, she would tell me family stories about those represented in the fabrics. At night, when she thought I was asleep, I would see her sitting in her rocker with a quilt across her lap and a Bible in her hand. I knew she wasn't reading but just holding it. It seemed to bring her comfort as she prayed. She instinctively knew what each of us needed and without fail brought those needs before God. It was her prayers that sustained this family throughout the years. A gentle tear rolled down my cheeks as I remembered what my sister said at her funeral, "Who will pray for us now?" Unlike this abandoned farmhouse, the image of her praying would live in my mind forever for she has passed down her legacy to each of us, and today, the trees that farmed the fields and graced the landscape with a quilt of color reminded me of those I pray for.

    Along the edge of the woods, a cluster of sumac trees captured my attention. The leaves had turned a fiery red with shades of deep burgundy in comparison to the taupe color of the bean field. The sumac is a short tree that is usually found along the edge of the wood line with wide branches that ofter hang low to the ground. They remind me of two very important men in my life--my son and grandson. Both of them have the same fiery personality that makes up for their short stature, each determined in every wat to prove to themselves and the world that their size does not matter. They are as intelligent as the leaves were brilliant in color, with endless energy that reminded of a fire burning out of control. How often I had prayed that the Lord would channel all their energy for good and not allow it to run a course of self-destruction. A scripture from Matthew came to mind, so I took a moment and offered it as a prayer, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14, NKJV). Life had not been easy for my son, and too ofter, he had chosen the broader path, and I knew only the gentle hand of the Lord could narrow his way. My grandson was a challenge, even more so than his dad, and I also knew he would need a lot of guidance to keep him on the narrow path, which would lead him in God's will for his life.



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