Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Legacy ...

L-R: Mawmaw, aunt Lela, Pawpaw, my Mama, aunt Christine, and aunt Marie- the cute little blond standing in the front.

A Legacy Of Faith … How it all began.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard the stories of my paternal grandmother’s faith and love of God, which was very instrumental in laying my spiritual foundation. But there’s more. A lot more.

I have rarely mentioned my maternal grandfather, the evangelist -- The Evangelist Saul Brasher. Now days when you hear the word “evangelist,” you probably picture a man on TV wearing a white suit who owns a private jet, and is asking for a financial gift, right? In my opinion, the word has been abused over the years to the point most people cringe when they hear someone is an evangelist. The word evangelize simply means to convert others to your faith. My grandfather spread the gospel all over Alabama and Georgia during the years following the great depression, when people needed hope in a way they never imagined before. As most evangelists did, he supported his family on the financial offerings he received from the church. During the great depression, there was no money to offer, so as you can imagine, my grandfather was not a rich man. No, not rich, but they never went to bed hungry, and they were blessed in ways money can’t buy.

My maternal grandparents knew hard times well. They knew poverty. They knew the pain of losing a child; They lost four children. They endured persecution from those of the same faith. Did you know that Christian soldiers are the worst to destroy their own? The first thing I think of when I look at the photo above is my mama’s hair. Her parents allowed her to get a perm for the first time when she was fifteen years old. Some of the women in their church went overboard with persecution, thumping the bible and pointing their self-righteous fingers in her face. Pawpaw stood firm behind his daughter, and supported her new hairdo. Pawpaw stood up to the finger-pointers, and I’m so proud of him for doing that. He understood that a person’s walk with the Lord has nothing to do with their hairstyle. He fought against religious legalism and taught us that Christ is about relationship, not religion. And most certainly not about judging others.

My grandfather walked through life just as he is posing in the photo above -- Clinging to his bible. Pawpaw literally breathed in an exhaled the word. He held on to his beliefs, and he truly practiced what he preached.

I remember when I was a little girl going to visit my grandparents in the country - Pawpaw had a trail in the woods behind their house that led a path to his “rock alter”. Every day, as long as he was able, he took his bible and walked that path to be alone with God. He spent many mornings on his knees in prayer. Not only did he pray for his family, his church family, and his nation, Pawpaw would spend much of this time praising God and giving thanks … just being with God one-on-one, loving Him. “Prayer is not just about asking God for something,” he’d say. He instructed me that we should be thankful, and approach God with thankful hearts like it’s Thanksgiving Day, every day.
God hears the prayers of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
This thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for the legacy of my grandfather, whose prayers are still being honored for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I cling to the word myself now, and hope to have the courage and the strength to continue in Pawpaw's footsteps in whatever the Lord has planned for my life.

Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving this year.

Next blog, I plan to continue my family’s story - I’m not sure what it’ll be yet, whatever I feel led in my heart to write about.


EMAW said...

you ahve a great blessing and foundation

Warren Baldwin said...

This is a good story for me to read as a minister. There are ways I need to grow to be more like your grandfather was.

Warren Baldwin said...

Just reread this. Good reminder for a preacher today about what really matters.