On Sunday, May 17th, our family celebrated the home-going of Rusty’s grandmother, Mrs. Helen (Paul) Farmer. There are no words to adequately express the admiration I have for this dear, saintly woman, whom, for the past twenty-two years, I have known as Grandma Farmer.
I have learned so much from Grandma over the years, but there is no doubt that her greatest influence on my life occurred within the last two weeks of her earthly existence. It was during the final days of her short, brutal bout with cancer that this little lady most-profoundly impacted me.
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, …”
I was able to sit at Grandma’s bedside prior to her home-going. It was during our chats that God truly began to convict me about the condition of my heart.
In her weakened condition, here are some of the statements she made in those last days:
“I have so much to smile about.”
“Have you ever seen anything like this wonderful family?”
“I need one tissue, please.” “Thank you.”
“God has had me right where He wanted me. He has had so many Godly people pass through my life.”
“Well, good morning. How are you?”
You see, time and time again, as Grandma drew closer to physical death, our family witnessed her spirit of grace and gratitude. Never once did she mutter a complaint or a criticism. And on many occasions, she reserved her few words for expressing her concern for others.
Just days before her home-going, I watched Grandma extend her frail hand to a visitor, whose mother had recently passed, and say, “Oh, Judy, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom.” And with almost each one of my visits, she would ask how the family was doing.
Grandma was very diseased physically, yet her body’s weakened state gloriously displayed the condition of her heart and spirit. It’s undeniable; Grandma was too sick to muster up the kind, gracious words that came from her mouth. She was certainly not strong enough physically to “put on” the selfless, gentle nature that exuberated from her during those last hours.
The reality of Matthew 15:18 was beheld by every caretaker, visitor, and family member. There is only one explanation for Grandma’s ever-so sweet responses during those last few days. It is this … those things which proceed from the mouth come forth from the heart, and the genuine Christ-like nature of Grandma Farmer’s heart was coming forth.
I have been so humbled by Grandma’s passing. I’ve pondered what would come forth out of my mouth from my heart if I were in such a physically weakened state. I shudder to think of my responses and reactions.
Grandma Farmer left much more than a trace of her fingerprint upon my heart. You see, with my every thought of her, I can feel a molding, a re-shaping, even perhaps a chiseling of my heart.
Lord, fix my heart. It is Yours. Help me surrender it to You each day. And, one day, may the words from my mouth give evidence that mine is a heart like Yours … and Grandma’s. Amen.