Braids of Glory
by PamFord Davis

I stood behind Grandma, as she sat in her favorite over-stuffed chair beneath the living room picture window. Light from the sun served as spotlight upon our families' leading lady. With uncertainty, I wove her gray hair into three strands and began the braiding process. I sensed tension in her neck and shoulders release as she entrusted me with the styling of her long thinning hair. This saint's well-trained hands once brushed aside wisps of perspiring hair from foreheads of expectant mothers. A licensed practical nurse, she eased them through difficult hours of child labor. She now required the inept aid of a grandchild. Agility and strength of body had waned in recent years but her heavenly Father continued to enable her; in faith, she received providential care. As a sustaining, threefold chord, His purpose, promises, and peace strengthened her.

Through prayer and enduring love, she patiently endeavored to pass on His purpose to my sisters, brother and myself. I continued to braid three strands of yellowing silver on the nape of her neck. Awkwardly, I moved my hands back and forthto the leftacross to the right. The scent of sweetheart soap from earlier grooming wafted to my nostrils as I stood with head bowed, working. Only now, as the Lord has blessed me with the role of grandmother, do I sense the significance of those fleeting moments of giving of myself through simple service. She had always been the perfect role model. Her life was a demonstration of willing deeds of service to Jesus, her husband, sons and grandchildren. Three generations fell under the godly influence and intercessory praying hands of Grandma Grace.

Grandma's health continued to decline and she became bedridden. She was in the care of her dutiful husband and my aunt and uncle, in whose home my grandparents resided. I went to visit and my aunt urged me to join Grandma in her bedroom. With encouragement, I pulled back homemade quilts and lay alongside Grandma. The warmth of her body and labored breathing were in stark contrast to starched linen sheets and my cold clammy hands. I saw a large antiquated commode chair next to her bed. The bathroom, only one room away was as a distant destination. My aunt, bearing the dead weight of Grandma could barely lift her from the bed to the adjacent commode.

It was soon evident to all; my aunt could no longer provide sufficient care for Grandma, who was no longer able to roll over by herself. As a result, she had developed bedsores. With broken hearts, her family admitted her to a small nursing home. Grandpa, following sixty-five years of marriage could barely cope without her presence. I accompanied Dad during a visit to the convalescent facility, housed in a large old family dwelling. I trembled and choked back tears when I approached her bed. She did not waken and death seemed inevitable. Her Lord shortened suffering and welcomed her home. Angels wrapped her braided hair around a crown of glory, voicing worship to the King! The heavenly host in perfect threefold harmony, heralded their chorded message: "Holy, Holy, Holy!"

Devotionals are her first love in writing. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal, With God Daily, Mary Hollingsworth's The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter.

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