Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: NaNa

Remembering NaNa

As I was traveling to St. Louis in February for the United Methodist Church’s called General Conference, I received word that my grandmother, NaNa, had passed away. From my hotel room, I talked with my family and began planning the service that would celebrate her life. I wrote the homily I preached in the same hotel, during the General Conference, and on the way back to Virginia. NaNa’s celebration of life was held at Enon United Methodist Church, her church for all of her 90+ years.  I chose Luke 18:1-8 as my preaching text. 

I can remember as a child during the stillness of a summer evening hearing the gentle humming or singing from across the creek. In the moments that I would stop to listen, I realized that it was coming from NaNa and PaPa’s back porch. Most often NaNa was sitting on the porch snapping beans and singing a familiar hymn.  Now, whatever I was doing, usually didn’t last very long. Inevitably, she would see me outside and holler my name, which was the invitation to join her in snapping beans. And if I didn’t respond the first time, the call would continue until I responded.

Moments like this capture some of the core values of what made NaNa, NaNa. Music was an important part of her life, but not more important than family. Moments like this on the porch were not as much about the beans (or other summer veggies) as they were about spending time with family. There was always a joy when the family gathered at the house. And I imagine as the family grew to include husbands and wives and great-grandchildren, it might have stressed her out a bit to have so many people in the house.

But she still loved it.

Continue reading

Jesus Said: Full of Care

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.”  (Matthew 5:7, The Message)

My NaNa & PaPa (my grandparents) have always been formative to my faith.  I have watched them over the years take in sick friends or family/church members and take care of them until they were well; take meals to those who just got home from the hospital; visit with neighbors who can’t get out of their own homes; invite those who aren’t able to be with family for Christmas to our family Christmas breakfast.  And the list could go on. It would be nothing to show up at their house one day and find someone there, being taken care of. It instilled in us to look out for each other.

They have always been full of care for others.

Continue reading

© 2019 Jason C. Stanley

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑