Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Marilyn's Dishes

If Jesus were a grandma,
I think he might be mine.
Humility and royalty
and love all intertwined.
Maybe that’s why we love
her stoic Queen Marilyn look
And marvel at her silent focus
in cross word puzzle books.
There are times I can’t help but see her
in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Quick glimpses of her spirit,
like a lightbulb flickering off and on
When Jesus wrapped that towel around his waist
and knelt to wash their feet
That’s where Grandma’s gentle hands
and quiet wisdom meet
In every song, if you listen close
you can hear her servant heart sing
But you won’t find her out onstage,
you’ll have to go back in the wings.
Or maybe in the kitchen
before the production of the family meal
Or at the bedside with a sick child
in the spot where she bent to kneel.
She calmed the stormy family seas
with toddlers and teenagers both
She loved and led her children well
through every stage of growth
She may not have healed the lame
or made the blind to see
But she was there with Band-aids and a magic kiss
for every scrape and skinned knee
Our family has plenty of talkers,
but her few words are always loaded with truth
And even now at eighty years young
she exudes the beauty of youth.
But the times when I see her the brightest
are when Jesus told his stories
Epic tales, parables with seeds
and woven metaphors that bring You glory.
My favorite story we always heard
was the one about Marilyn’s dishes
A little town called West Plains Missouri,
and a five year old’s Christmas wishes
It was the time of Steinbeck novels,
they’d lost all the animals on the farm,
But little Marilyn’s faith never wavered,
the town delighted by her hope-filled charm,
“My dishes will be here this Christmas”
she said in a Princess Marilyn stance
In a time when many dragged their feet,
little Marilyn was in a twirling dance
“Now don’t get your hopes up, Marilyn”
Thelma warned in her serious Mama voice
Secretly wishing she could find some way,
and knowing she had no choice
The town was sad that Christmas Eve
for Marilyn’s dream was quite well known
But much like the Jews that first Christmas Eve,
they didn’t know You had a plan of Your own.
Aunt Laura was the only one in the town
who didn’t seem to know the tale
And had no idea the hope she’d bring
with that box of toy dishes for sale.
Princess Marilyn was not at all surprised
and wondered why everyone was dumbfounded
But hope filled the town with this small miracle
that left them all astounded.
That little set of dishes was the just first of many
that she would carefully place
And there’s an open seat for everyone at her table
just like her open embrace.
Her dishes may have changed over the years,
for children will take care of that
But when everyone else is a thermometer,
Grandma is the thermostat
Steady and calm, keeping us cool
in each and every season
Listening to her daughters' complaining
even when there was no reason
Surviving her boys' many injuries,
broken bones and bloody noses,
And we have a feeling that life with Bob
wasn’t always a bed of roses.
But in all the ups and downs of marriage,
Her company was always preferred,
And as she shared on a walk with Mom one day,
she never doubted his love for her.
Much like her dishes, Grandma loves
providing delicious meals,
Silently listening to everyone else talk
about how everyone else feels.
But she never complained
or carried her chores like a heavy duty
But lightly carried all our doxology prayers
on the shoulders of her alto beauty.
Many a sweet honey ham or a juicy roast
have been devoured on those dishes and table
And even if that story in West Plains Missouri
evolves into an old fable
Those of us who know her well
know forgetting her could never occur
And if Jesus could be someone’s dishes,
I think he’d be one of hers.

Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma. We love you.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35

"But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15b

"A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt." - Woodrow T. Wilson

1 comment:

Elle said...

She sounds like someone who should be in everyone's life - then no one would wonder who Jesus really is. She had to LOVE this!