Buses, Grandma and Transformation
Who says I can't rewrite my own history? Who says I can't rethink the way I used to be in order to break through to the other side? The other side of throwing people under the proverbial bus is a fresh new path in life for me. Just me, I don't know about you. Who would think that a bus all wrapped in its lovely yellow, sun shiny splendor would be used to help describe the discarding of a life? What's worse is that my hands are conveying my heart and creating severe damage with reckless abandonment for the lives of countless individuals.
Break on through, break on through, break on through to the other side. And what is on the other side? Life and peace and love and forgiveness and hope. The kind of stuff that the real Jesus provides us with.
I almost repeated history the other day even in the midst of trying to break through and break free from throwing people under a few ton. And it happened again. I stopped right in the middle of my mental process of saying to myself, "I am done with that person." And it hit me like lightening. I am not going to do "it". I am not going to wait for that bus to drive on by so that I can have my hands carry out the thoughts of my heart. I've done that for too many years.
Why? Why am I done with so many people for whatever reason? Oh, and they, so many of them are done with me and in some instances I don't blame them. There's a faithful few that have stuck around with me through the years no matter how stupid I became or no matter how I messed up and for that I am truly grateful. And what are these people made of, the ones who care for you and show it until you die, no matter what?
The madness I can see plainly for myself needs to stop.
Throwing people under the bus is bad. So let's define my perception of what I am saying a little clearer. We are all just people. See the cute little plastic people in the picture? They look so nice.
Let's pick apart one person who I know has never thrown anyone under the bus...
She was bent over and barely standing upright anymore when she was here in her final days. She was a fragment of her youth standing there before me, but the fullness of a gray- haired beauty was present. Let's talk about her.
She went to church faithfully, she read her bible and prayed, but truly she was filled with the Holy Spirit and her life in Christ was never kept in a box or made exclusive to one certain compartment of her life, but there was fluidity in her Christianity. She was a true follower of Jesus and it pervaded every area of her life...it touched every part of her life and every person.
My grandmother loved me and I knew it. She loved me when I was wrong and she loved me when I was right. I knew she prayed for me everyday...even though she never said, "I'm praying for you." I NEVER, and you heard me right, hear her say an unkind thing about anyone and she never discarded people no matter what they did.
I remember visiting her in the Summertime and when I was there as a child life was grand for a moment. She baked and talked and laughed and something that struck out to me was when some of my extended family would join us for lunch. Some of them had an addiction to tobacco. When they came she always made sure that the ash tray was clean and put out for them to use when they needed it. She knew that they had a problem, but I never heard her preach to them about their addiction. She accepted them as they were, addiction and all. These family members were never afraid to step foot in her house for fear of a tongue lashing. She knew they had a problem and still she laid the clean ash tray out on the kitchen table when they arrived and never put restraints on them. To me, she was saying I'll sacrifice my clean air for the time being to sit with you and have you in my company because I love you and I know you have a problem for which I offer my compassion and my silent prayers to God, but my love is steadfast for you.
Grandma Reh was married to a drunk. I don't mean to slander my grandpa, but that is what he was, a drunk. He was mostly a kind man to my knowledge, a kind man who had an addiction. They had twelve kids together. I am still amazed by the number of kids she had. My grandma had every right to leave my grandpa, I am sure of it. They were very poor according to today's standards and there are reasons for that and one big reason was that my grandpa was a nice man who had an addiction. She loved him anyway and she stayed faithful to him anyway. Why? I don't know. Jesus being in her, I believe, made her that way. Most women would have gotten tired of him and left. No, she loved him and no doubt prayed for him. She never threw him under the bus even though she easily could have.
What makes a woman have such fortitude in such a difficult situation? What makes a woman so steadfast in her love despite the odds? What makes a woman never utter despicable words about another? What makes a woman look at you and say, "I love you and you are such a good granddaughter." when you feel so all alone and left to bear the weight of the world upon your shoulders in silence as a child? What makes a woman send cards to you and everyone else in the family...all...year...round, every year?
She cared. She really cared about...everyone and I can't say that enough. She is an inspiration for when I feel the need to do the deed, to chuck a heart, soul and mind up under those wheels for whatever reason.
I realize now that everyone has a story and there are reasons why people are where they are in life today. Jesus knew that, too, and the people around Jesus in the New Testament knew that, too. They came to Him, many of them, of their own volition. They came to him with questions, with needs and with desires, because they knew they could. He was inviting. Grandma was inviting. Her love was inviting.
His life fleshed out in hers until the day she died. That is what the real Jesus does to you. Something that religion can't. It remakes you from the front porch to the back door and it pervades every aspect of your whole life. It's not a go to church thing. It's not a denominational thing. It's not a standards or keep your set of rules thing. It's not a prideful, bible-toting thing. It's not a Christianese or buzz verse or buzz word thing. It's not a place you visit from time to time or even once a week. It's not something exclusive to a single thought process. What she had influenced every. square. inch. of her life. It was not something she tacked on to herself. It's was a Jesus thing. He transforms you, recreates you, mars you in His hand, to remake a new vessel and it defies logic and even reason. A vessel that could never throw another person under the bus...ever...again.