As a kid, I would spend several nights in the summer with my great-grandmother out in the country. Granny lived in a little brick house in Beech Bluff, TN. No cable tv, (definitely no internet…not sure if Al Gore had invented it yet.) She only had rabbit ears and 3 channels. Her phone hung on the wall with a 10 ft spiral cord. No central heat and air. There was a window unit in the living room (and a box in the back bedroom window pulling a draft through the house.) On super hot days, I’d sit in front of the air conditioner letting it blow right in my face. I remember it taking my breath away as I’d try to breathe in the cold air. (Not sure how safe that was.)
Every morning she’d fix coffee in a percolator pot, pour a little in her saucer to cool and then back in her cup. We’d eat toast and honey or bacon and eggs. After breakfast, we’d water the plants on her carport with milk jugs. One summer a turtle would visit most mornings and we’d feed it dog food. We’d work in her garden until about lunch and I’d spend the rest of the afternoon, exploring her backyard, catching grasshoppers, and digging for worms. We might walk down the road to the neighbor for a visit; I’d grab a walking stick that doubled as a sword. They had an old droopy-eyed basset hound that I’d sit and play with his ears. Right before we’d go in for the evening I’d catch a few fireflies and we’d call it a day. At night we’d sleep with the bedroom window up. Her bed was right next to the window and I’d fall asleep to the sound of crickets and frogs. Occasionally I’d wake up to coyotes or a wildcat and she would scratch my back until I fell back asleep.
This was pretty much the routine every time I stayed and it never got old.
But I did.
Eventually, I outgrew my summer stays with Granny and hadn’t thought about them in a while, until recently and found myself reminiscing.
Especially the last few moments at night. Before I went to sleep, she would have me repeat the “Lord I lay me down...” prayer.
“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take. AMEN!”
Looking back it’s a little morbid…”Just in case I die tonight Jesus…take me to heaven!”
It’s what happened next that has stirred me greatly recently.
Granny would whisper.
I couldn’t make out her words and was really too tired to pay attention. Was she talking to herself…no she was still praying. My small mind didn’t know why … because we had just covered all our bases with the three lines we’d we’d just repeated.
I didn’t understand it then…but I do now.
She still had things she needed to happen in her life. Her only daughter was still weathering the outcomes of a marriage that had ended but had managed to go back to school and get a job. A few years later her daughter would be hit by a drunk driver facing a long recovery. She had 5 grandchildren and at the time 2-3 great-grandchildren. Some of them were doing well, and some of them were probably going through things that I had no idea about. Her legacy would span 8 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild before she passed at 93; right before her 2nd great-great grandchild was born.
Granny didn’t pray very loud…she just confidently whispered…trusting God to do with her words what He will.
The memory of those whispers has returned so vividly recently and it was as if I could actually hear the hushed words. It’s messed with me for a few days now.
I know it sounds crazy!
I’m so thankful for this memory!
As I was experiencing the full weight of this I began to wonder. How much of who I am is a result of those prayers. What have I received and avoided as a because of those prayers. I believe the prayers that were whispered laying beside her as a young boy along with the ones when she was all alone and I was all grown up, have had a greater impact than I will ever comprehend. I wonder how many of those prayers have been answered? I’m sure there are many more, about me and other family members, that are still in process and will continue to be answered even though she entered eternity 12 years ago. Hebrews 11:13-15 talks about how this works.
Many of us may have had parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents that have whispered prayers for us over the years. You are and will be impacted by those prayers.
Be encouraged by this!
But what if you didn’t have that?
THEN, you do that for your future generations.
Mark Batterson believes that “our prayers are genesis moments that create a change in our genealogy.” I’m thankful for my family and my heritage, but I know, that there has been some shifting in my genealogy and I want to perpetuate that in my children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren.
Don’t underestimate the power of your whispers.
What matters most is not the volume of your voice, but the volume of your faith.
I’d love to hear your story! Feel free to share!