Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.
- Lewis B. Smedes
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)
I see them right away as I wander through our small river town’s new specialty shop. A basket of earrings holding vintage clip-ons. The very kind that my grandmother, Mamo, used to wear. And it takes no time at all for my heart to move back through the years to Mamo and Papo’s red brick home.
The wall of the entryway held long chimes that played “Westminster” when someone rang the bell. There was a large fireplace with a cool, marble hearth in the living room. And Mamo and Papo’s bedroom was in the back, quiet and restful with walls of the deepest lavender shade.
In the sweet hush of that room, Mamo would let me sit on her bed and open her jewelry box. And on the center of her bed, legs curled beneath me, we shared time together.
“Do you want to try these sparkly earrings, Shawnie?” she’d ask.
I’d hold the earrings in my hand and let the facets catch the light.
Mamo would place the earrings on my ears until the clamp held, firm enough, but not too tight.
“Beautiful,” she’d day. A soft smile would come to her sweet, pretty face. She’d cup her warm, soft hand around my chin. Then she’d brush a strand of hair away from my eyes. “Want to see?”
Mamo held a mirror, the fancy one from her dresser. “See? What a beautiful little girl.”
I looked boldly into the mirror. Sitting there with my grandmother, just the two of us, I didn’t feel shy or gangly or self-conscious.
I felt completely cherished and loved.
It’s precious to me when I consider that this is how the Lord loves me, too. He calls me to Himself. He wants to share time, precious moments, with me. He wants to speak to me and hold me and encourage me with His true and living Word.
He loved me so, that even in my sin-covered state, He sent His son to set me free. And now He’s covered me with His grace. I’m clothed, fully covered, in the breathtaking beauty of the righteousness of Christ.
What a precious thing!
I stand for a moment in the store, resting in this truth. Then I gently sort through the basket. I find one more pair of earrings and decide to splurge. I’ll wear them with gladness. They remind me of my grandmother’s love. I’ll miss her everyday–until I see her in heaven.
But my Father’s love, strong and pure, beyond and better than even the most sweet form of human love, sustains me. It fills my heart and moves my spirit like no other love can.
I am the Lord’s daughter.
And I am lovely in His sight.
Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.
Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications. She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward. But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.