There’s a funeral happening tomorrow. It is for a woman my brother and I call “Granny Hunter.” I want to tell you her story – to honor her – because it is a story that inspires me continually. It is the story of a simple life, but a life of extraordinary impact because it was lived with eternal purpose. Her life has shaped pieces of my heart forever….
Granny Hunter wasn’t our biological grandmother, but she took us in as her “adopted” grandchildren when I was in the 3rd grade. Between the grades of 3rd-7,th she attended our school performances, babysat us, and welcomed us into her life with the love of a grandma. She didn’t have grandchildren of her own and our grandparents were states away, so I was able to experience a grandparent who was involved in my daily life for four sweet years. When my family moved, we kept in touch through cards, calls and visits in the years that followed, but the memories of the time we lived close are the dearest to me.
Granny Hunter was a woman who loved the Lord with her whole heart, she was a faithful prayer warrior. Every morning she would call her a friend who was her prayer partner and together they would pray.
Granny Hunter found happiness through serving others. Her radiant joy came from the never ending well found only in Christ.
Her nickname was “the bag lady” because she carried a different tote bag for every community service organization and church project she volunteered for. I marveled at all her bags and how someone so “old” could lead such a vigorous and purposeful life. She inspires me to live for a purpose that is greater than my own self and my happiness.
You couldn’t walk into Granny Hunter’s house without feeling special and important. She always greeted every person as if they were a long lost best friend and treated you as if you were the most important person in the world. I do not remember ever hearing her speak a negative word against any person.
One of the ways she treated my brother and I like the most important people in the world, was the way every child knows they are important…through food! She would make homemade chicken nuggets for us, a recipe I never realized how tedious it was, until I got married and spent about 90 minutes making homemade nuggets for my husband. My 90 minutes of labor yielded about 9 nuggets. There’s a reason we all buy our nuggets frozen or from Mc Donalds’. They are hard work. But she fed us those nuggets almost every time we visited.
We would play games all afternoon and evening when we visited, and each round would end with her slipping my brother the card he needed to win the game. My brother had figured out that if he just looked at Granny with a pathetic and desperate plea, she would pass him the right card. She had such a tender soft heart towards us and anyone she met. It would always irritate me when my brother would manipulate Granny into giving him the right card, but now I can see that her tenderness was a microcosm of how she lived her life. Her grace always trumping judgment. She was a woman who continually laid down her wants, needs and rights for the joy of other people. She wasn’t a doormat, but a sure and confident woman who realized the enduring joy of paving the way for someone else’s success.
In her last years she constantly spoke of Jesus, how she longed to be with Him, reunited with her husband and at home with her Savior. It was eternity that mattered to her, it was what was of eternal value that she invested her heart, time and resources into.
She is a blessed woman, I honor her today because she has:
“fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have no doubt she is hanging out in that Holy Hall of Fame, I see them standing there now, chests lifted, voices rising in praise of their eternal King… Abraham, Moses, Ruth, and my Granny.
Do you have a Grandparent, or older person who has invested in you? Who are they, and how have they shaped you?
P.S. I just listened to a testimony this morning. I wept throughout the entirety of it. It is about a Muslim woman growing up in the Middle East, how she accepted Christ, has endured unthinkable persecution and also experienced being raised from the dead (amongst other awesome miracles). I am including the link, because her testimony reminds me of the way Granny Hunter lived her life completely for Jesus. If you listen to anything this week…Listen to this powerful Testimony!