We are asking various TGC Council members a simple question: Who was the first person who showed you the beauty of Jesus?
Her name was Delight, but I always called her Mom.
I am not sure how my grandparents decided on that name, but as devoted followers of Christ, Grandpa Leon and Grandma Mae somehow knew this daughter they were bringing into the world would bring delight to many.
Delight in the Gospel
Delight embraced the gospel as a young girl, and immediately her love for Christ began to flourish. As a young adult her most captivating interest was foreign missions, but God’s calling on her life would have a different trajectory. She married a godly Minnesota farmer and raised seven children. Mom never stepped foot on foreign soil, but she gave her children a vision of God’s love for them, for the local church, and for the whole world.
Mom was a bright and beautiful woman who was a gifted writer, published poet, and lover of great literature. Most of all she loved the Holy Scriptures. Her generous warmth, merciful disposition, and well-worn hands reached out to anyone in need. Her gospel-centered faith was fueled by heaven’s hope and firmly tethered to earthly hands and feet. The Christian home that Mom created meant our dinner table had a seat open for anyone who would stop by, even at the last moment. After a scrumptious dinner and the imposing pile of dirty dishes that was the inevitable result, Mom would often softly sing hymns as she washed the dishes. She not only practiced the presence of God as she worked menial tasks, but she also had an intimacy with Jesus that couldn’t be contained or hidden.
Her extraordinary life was the greatest apologetic for the Christian faith I have ever encountered.
No one loved me with a purer love than my mom did, and no one has modeled to me more consistently and convincingly the presence and character of Christ lived out in the ups and downs of daily life. My mom’s extraordinary life was the greatest apologetic for the Christian faith I have ever encountered.
To Die Is Gain
Tragedy struck Mom with the early death of my father, yet as a widowed single parent her faith continued to deepen throughout the rest of her earthly sojourn. Her resilience in suffering never wavered. Without a whimper of self-pity or complaint, she modeled a life of sacrificial service and daily exuded a joyful hope. I had the great privilege of seeing up close and personal a devoted and virtuous follower of Jesus who lived a radiant life and experienced a radiant death. The transcendent truth of Philippians 1:21 was lived out before my eyes with a compelling authenticity: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
No human being has shaped my Christian faith more than my mother has. Although I do not remember the moment, Mom told me later that when I took my first breath, she smiled with great joy. And on a blustery cold Minnesota day, when Mom took her last breath, I was sitting by her bed. At that moment the planet seemed to shift, and I wept as I’d never wept before. Though she is now enjoying eternity with the great Lover of her soul, she is deeply missed by all in this temporal realm who were graced to know her.
Delight was her name. Mom delighted in her God. She delighted in her husband, children, and grandchildren. And I delight in every remembrance of her. How I look forward to seeing her again.
You can read previous installments in this series.