He will renew your life, and sustain you in your old age.—RUTH 4:15 (NIV)
Everyone called her Aunt Edna. She was born 14 years after the Civil War. Aunt Edna wore long cotton dresses belted at the waist, and a sweater even in summer. She maneuvered her aluminum walker carefully over worn hardwood floors and fringed, threadbare Oriental rugs. She never left the house she shared with her niece.
When I was a young girl, I spent a lot of time at Aunt Edna’s. She always sat in the back bedroom, dwarfed by her high-backed upholstered chair with its wide maple armrests, hunched over the large-print Bible that took up her entire lap. Her thick glasses nearly touched her Sherlock Holmes magnifier. She followed the words back and forth, shoulders swaying to the rhythm.
One morning when I came to visit, her hands were folded primly where her Bible should have been. I asked, “What
happened?” She nodded toward the closed Bible on her dresser. Even with the magnifier, she could not make the words come into focus.
I offered to read the Bible to her, but Aunt Edna suggested something else instead: we took turns quoting Bible verses from memory. I was amazed at how many verses she knew by heart.