You may hear me talk often about my Grandma Barnes. She wasn’t really my grandma but I would sure like to claim her. My parents met her at church when we moved from windy west Texas to Oklahoma when I was only three. She was about 60 years old then and for the next 15 years she would babysit my brothers and me whenever needed. I lived with her half of my senior year of high school when my parents moved and I wanted to finish at the same school. She was so much like a grandmother to us that my brother JoRay cried when he found out she wasn’t really kin to us! As a grown man with kids of his own, he kissed her on the temple just before she died and said, “See you later, Grandma.”
He will see her later in Heaven. And, knowing her, she will be up early every morning already in her “house dress,” wearing her “ear bobs” and “chicken butt red” lipstick, sweeping the streets of gold while listening to vinyl records of Billy Graham sermons.
Grandma Barnes was a godly woman. Plain and simple. She ran the Dairy Queen in our small town after her husband died unexpectantly. She kept hymns in the jukebox rotation and Bible pamphlets available for customers to enjoy along with their dip cones. You rarely had a conversation with her that she didn’t mention Jesus or some scripture. After she retired from the Dairy Queen, she worked as a cook at a local Christian camp and babysat kids like my brothers and me.
When you stayed with Grandma Barnes, there was no such thing as children with idle hands. She taught countless youngsters to croquet a chain while sitting on the floor watching television or listening to her read. I would bet the farm that over the years we croqueted enough chain to wrap the earth several times. She kept her big brown Bible next to her chair and told us all the stories of the Bible. Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joseph, Jesus…
Grandma Barnes had a huge influence in shaping my spiritual character. To help me grow in wisdom, she often read from Proverbs. I remember her saying, “Proverbs has 31 chapters and most months have 31 days. So, if you don’t know what to study in your Bible; read the chapter of Proverbs that’s the same as the date on the calendar.” (March 1 read Proverbs chapter 1, March 2 read Proverbs chapter 2, etc.)
This month I will be adding Proverbs to my reading. One chapter a day just like Grandma Barnes said. I hope you will join me. We can always use more wisdom…and women like her.
“For gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight… “
“Let the wise listen and add to their learning…” Prov. 1: 2&5
This is Grandma Barnes with her daughter and her real-life granddaughter, who happens to be my lifelong friend. (Aren’t they beautiful?!) .
And Grandma Barnes would quote, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” But you will get to that at the end of the month in chapter 31. 🙂