Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Precious Reflection of Heaven's Joy (Poem for My Grandma)

It's my Grandma McDougal's 90th birthday in a few days. In her honor, here's a poem I wrote for her a few years ago:


I can remember how,
In the middle of winter,
I would walk into her kitchen
And be greeted by the warm, delicious smell
Of baking bread or roasting turkey.
And as my glasses fogged up
In the pleasant, comforting warmth,
I could see her sitting there
At the kitchen table,
Smiling up at me over her work,
Her eyes shining with all the secret joys
Of a grandmother blessed to witness
The legacy of her own faithful strength
Now blossoming in the souls
Of those she loves.
This is she who found joy
In the boyish songs we shouted
As we stacked wood in the cellar,
Who never failed to feed us
As much as we could receive,
And who would always call forth
My willing embrace.
And most of all,
This is she who taught me
Never to hide my smile from the world.
It’s been said that joy
Is the serious business of heaven,
And that’s a lesson I learned
Over and over again
As I watched my Grandma
Walking in that precious reflection of heaven’s joy
That we call ‘family’.

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