Hidalgo. Grandma. Ancestral Influence.

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In Hidalgo (foto right) there is a scene where Frank, the central character, is about to die in the desert with his horse, Hidalgo. Frank, who is half Indian, prays for help and ghostly apparitions of his ancestors appear, dancing a restorative, prayerful chant and “reviving” horse and man to arise to meet their test.

Oddly, at that moment I thought of my grandparents, so when I got home I searched for and found my grandmother’s Bible. She became a believer at age 15 and read through the Bible at least once a year. By 1988 she had read it 73 times (this was all carefully noted in the front inside page of the Bible). She read through it twice in 1988 alone! Her life verse was also noted. Psalm 90:17: And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

As I began to thumb through the Bible I was reminded of the otherness of the “language.” I also found her notes and cross-referencing comments fascinating. But most of all I was taken with the way her life verse captured who I knew her to be. Everything about Grandma was elegant. Her Bible teaching was imaginative (she was an early ¢â‚¬Ëœseminary’ attendee when it was unfashionable for women), creative and had a certain symmetry to it. A pastor’s wife, she made a financial contribution to the family by becoming a professional seamstress whose custom made dresses were works of art. She enjoyed the challenge of working with expensive and exotic fabrics.

We live in a “beauty-less” age. When we do seek beauty we do not think to find it in God. My daughter Molly and I had a wonderful discussion about duty versus beauty. My grandfather was a type-A goal oriented guy and burned out on more than one occasion. My grandmother was a true intellect, but her most memorable quality was her love of beauty, which showed itself in her unhurried tranquility, calmness, certainty of God’s eternal presence Let the beauty of the Lord reveal itself to us, in us through us.

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Remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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