"Miss Mary Jane"

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By: Autumn Sisk

1 John 4:7,12, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God… No one has ever seen God: but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” (NIV)

Her name was Mary Jane, and a few months ago the Lord and His angels threw a big party to welcome her home. You see, Mary Jane was my grandmother, and one of the greatest people this world has ever known. Yeah, she was my grandmother and definitely spoiled me a little, but she was truly special.

One of the things that made my grandmother so special was the fact that she loved everyone. She treated every person like they were the most important person in the world. I spent much of my youth at her house (after school or during the hot summer days in Georgia), and I would go with her to her church activities too. Until I was grown, I thought that we were related to every person in our town because of the way she treated those people around her. There was never a person who got married or had a baby that she didn’t throw a shower for or send a gift to.

She bought Christmas gifts for everyone she knew, including a couple of former sons-in-law and a former daughter-in-law. Grandmother, as we so affectionately called her, never worried about her own well-being. She always looked out for others first.

She once even dove into a huge stack of hay bales after me when I slipped and fell, with no worry for her own safety. When she grabbed me, I felt strength that I never knew she had in her small body. She took care of my Granddaddy every day of the 56 years they were married, and raised 4 children. She loved them all so much and made sure they were raised in the ways of the Lord.

On holidays, we were always at her house. She would spend two days preparing all of the food and gifts for her loved ones. She would cook every grandchild his or her favorite food even though it took an extra day of effort. When it came time to eat, she would refuse to even sit down until every other person in the house was sitting with a full plate of food.

She ministered to those around her in so many ways. You see, Miss Mary Jane knew it was not about her. She knew it was about following the commands that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave us. She lived her faith by loving and serving others all of her days on earth. Her love of God shone through in every aspect of her life. The day before she became ill, she was out in the community with my Granddaddy taking lunches to less fortunate families. Even on the day she had her stroke, she got up and made breakfast for her husband whom she completely adored.

Truly, my grandmother was a great servant of God. She tried to do as Jesus asked by loving others. Before Jesus left the earth, He gave His disciples this command: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34-35, NIV).”

The night we all got to the hospital to see Grandmother, I saw the evidence of her life. I saw a family filled with love for God and each other. We cried together and prayed together, and talked about how much she meant to each of us. There were so many visitors at the hospital, even though she had been life-flighted to a hospital over 50 miles from our home town. Even at her funeral, the evidence of her love was seen. Many people who barely even knew her came, later telling us she had touched them in some way. They shared with the family how much they loved her because she had loved them through her kindness.

All of this has made me look at my life and ask, “Do I show love to people around me on a daily basis?” If I live my life and never touch those around me, it is a waste. Therefore, I have decided to follow as closely as possible the commands that Jesus gave us to love one another. My Grandmother did, and I want to be like her.

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, thank You for allowing me to have such a wonderful person like Grandmother in my life as an example to follow. Thank you for all of the wonderful examples of love that she showed everyone. Please help me to follow in her footsteps by loving all those around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (Take time to thank the Lord for anyone who has touched your life with their love.)

Related Resources:

Being a Girl Who Leads: Becoming a Leader by Following Christ, by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio

Think About It:

Who has touched my life with their unconditional love?

Does the love of this person or persons inspire me to love others?

What can I do today to start loving others in the way Christ has asked?

Live It:

Today, write down the names of two people who have touched you with their love. In this list, include as many ways as you can think of that they have blessed you.

Write down two people that you want to bless with your love. Think of specific ways to show them you love them.

Ask the Lord to help you love others in your life.

Power Verses:

Matthew 19:19b, “Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (NIV)

Romans 13:10a, “Love does no harm to its neighbor.” (NIV)

I John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Autumn Sisk. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous whitney bailey said...

That is SO true Autumn! Being another granddaughter of Mary Jane, I feel the exact same way. I never realized how much she touched other people's life until I saw the whole graveyard full of people at her funeral. I always knew she treated me like gold, but how did she show love to so many people? I miss her everyday. I think about her everyday, and it is my goal to live my life to her standards. I hope one day I am half the woman she was. She was the MOST wonderful person on earth.

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