Living Faith

I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built.
(Luke 6:47-48 NRSV)

My late Grandma, Lizzie, was quite a character! Born at the height of the Victorian era, she sailed to Canada well before the First World War. In Toronto she married and raised a family. There she stayed for over 50 years until, in her mid-eighties, she got on a plane and came to live with us in England, to help my mother who had been recently widowed.

Lizzie lived into her 102nd year and, although crippled with arthritis, was still planting potatoes in the garden well into her nineties. She had lived through two world wars, the great depression and much else; she had experienced great poverty, and the growing prosperity of the post war years.

There wasn’t much that Lizzie hadn’t seen or experienced. She had considerable personal courage, a very sharp mind and a dry wit. She also had strong opinions on many things, which she would happily share.

And Lizzie was a woman of quiet but profound faith. In her time with us getting to a church would have been difficult for her, but she read her huge King James Bible every day, and she prayed quietly by her bed every night.

I didn’t understand such things at the time but I now realise that Lizzie’s faith was part of who she was; it had shaped her life and she had a natural relationship with God through her prayers. I don’t remember any great religious debates taking place in my childhood home, and unless you saw Lizzie with her Bible or at prayer you might know little of her devotion. She did not wear her religion as a badge.

It seems that for many of us, faith is a subject for discussion and debate, or perhaps even a matter of allegiance. For Lizzie her walk of faith was her journey of life; without fuss or ostentation. She had built her life on the solid foundation of Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus,
show me the way
to build my life
on the solid foundation
of your words.
Amen.

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