Holy-PrayerHer name was Nettie Thompson Thomas. I called her granny. She was born and raised in Kentucky. And, like many people from that part of the country, migrated to Indiana to find work. It was the early part of the twentieth century. Times were hard and they were poor.

My granny embodied some of the stereotypes people have about Kentuckians. She drank bourbon, chewed tobacco and could cuss you out as soon as look at you. But there was always one piece of granny’s puzzle that didn’t seem to quite fit. I never really thought much about it as a boy but the older I became the more it seemed to contradict with her other characteristics. My granny was not a church going person but my granny prayed every day.

When I say that she prayed, I mean she prayed. Laying on the sofa she made up for me to sleep on, I could hear her praying clearly from her bedroom. She offered up a prayer of thanksgiving for the day and God’s blessings and then she would call out the names of her children and ask God’s blessing on them. Then she would ask for blessing on her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. It always made me feel good. And, it left an impression on me that I have carried with me all of my life.

My granny died at the age of 97. She didn’t leave a big inheritance. She never traveled the world or created some invention that made a difference in the world. But she did make a difference in the life of a boy. Though she is gone, her prayers live on for they are in me. Now, as I have grandchildren who come stay with me, I find myself laying my hands on them as they sleep and speaking a blessing over them. The prayers that started from a little old woman from Kentucky find another heart to touch.


~ by on May 7, 2013.

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