When God Speaks Like a Polish Grandmother

July 8, 2022  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

grandmother reading to a little girl

A friend of mine had a Polish grandmother who was famous for giving her children some blunt advice every time they left the house: “Eyes straight ahead. Mind your own business.”

Every mother knows her children best, and this mother knew hers liked to argue and sometimes liked to show off. She knew that could lead to trouble. She could not anticipate every scenario they would encounter each time they departed from her. All she could do was distill what she knew about life, safety, and manners into a few simple words, and hand them over to her children like a set of car keys or a hastily scribbled map. In this way, a woman who rarely said “I love you” expressed her devotion. And long after she was dead and buried, her aging sons and daughters repeated these words to themselves, like a child wrapping himself in a warm blanket.

Jesus does much the same for us, in many portions of the Gospels. “Ask the master to send out laborers for his harvest…Carry no money…Eat what is set before you…Know that the Kingdom of God is at hand…Rejoice because your names are written in Heaven.”

He knows us best — knows our strengths, but even more importantly, he knows our weaknesses. He doesn’t always have the space to address each of these explicitly in the pages of Scripture, but what he can do is distill the truth of effective evangelization into a few simple words, and hand them over to us as food for our journey of discipleship. In this way, a God who addresses the entire world and every soul who ever lived also speaks intimately to each one of us.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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Kathy Minicky
1 month ago

We all need straight forward Grandmas and Jesus!