Years ago, my grandma had an angel appear to her as she swept the kitchen floor, late at night, praying.
Let me give you some background on my grandma: she is a saint, who married a monster. Nobody caused this sweet lady more unnecessary pain than my grandfather. Grandpa was an alcoholic, an abuser, a philanderer, and just about the exact opposite of Grandma.
Grandma said she married him because he said if she didn’t, he would kill himself. In her loving innocence, she actually believed him. The terror that my grandfather caused, not just my grandma, but also my dad, uncle, and aunts, was something out of a horror movie–but, they still had Grandma. Just like Grandma stepped up in my own personal childhood, to make a nightmare better, she did the same for her own kids as well. She never gave up.
Grandpa didn’t want anything to do with God, and he didn’t want Grandma going to church because he said she would “find another man” or “blow money.” Fact of the matter was, that’s what he thought about all the time, not Grandma. Grandma couldn’t care less about the attention of other men, or money. She cared about Jesus, and what He wanted from her.
She told me a story about how one Sunday morning as she was getting ready for church, Grandpa said, “I’ll kill you before you go to church!” He went in the other room, got a gun, came back and pointed it at her. She told me that she prayed to God, “I’m ready if you want me to come home. I don’t want to go, but I’m ready.” Grandpa lowered the gun, and said, “I’m not gonna kill you today, but I’m gonna kill you tomorrow.” Grandma said she didn’t come home that day, instead she stayed at a friend’s house.
IF YOU ONLY KNEW THE NIGHTMARE THAT MY GRANDPA WAS, AND WHAT MY GRANDMA PUT UP WITH, IT WOULD BAFFLE YOUR MIND! HER COMMITMENT TO HER WEDDING VOWS, TO GOD, AND TO HIM, IS MIND-BLOWING!
I’ve asked her many times, “Why didn’t you just leave him?” She said she planned on it quite often, and then one night, she had a dream that Grandpa died and went to hell. After that, she completely removed the word “divorce” from her mind. She said she knew that God wanted her to stay, and that He had a greater purpose for her pain.
Had she left, you would not be reading this right now.
Instead of leaving, she used his hate for good. She committed herself to loving someone who was unlovable, just like Jesus does. Grandpa’s loathing of my grandma made her know God better, and deeper. And now, that’s been passed on to later generations. She didn’t run from the devil, she fought him head on, and she has a legacy for it.
So as Grandma swept the kitchen floor, late that night in the 1960’s, praying for Grandpa (no telling what he was out doing, probably at a bar), and her kids, an angel appeared before her.
The story I’ve heard a hundred times is, “I looked up–it was the brightest thing I’ve ever seen! It was transparent and it covered the entire wall! It was beautiful!” Frightened, Grandma gasped out loud, “No Lord, not now!” thinking, in her own words, “The angel had come to take me home”—and just like that—it disappeared.
Now if you ask her about this event, she’ll tell you that she knows the angel had a message for her. She’ll say that she wishes she didn’t respond how she did, because she wanted to know what it had to say…she’ll find out when she gets to heaven. I’m very curious as well.
So today, my friends, know this: Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). My grandma has a pure heart, as do all believers in Christ, but because of just how deep her dependency on Him ran, she got to see an actual angel. I don’t know anyone who has a deeper relationship with God, than Granny Mac. She never gave up on what He wanted her to do–she loved Him and her family too much. She allowed Christ to live through her on such a grand scale, that her pain was rewarded with a view of heaven while still here on earth. She is an inspiration to me. I want to see angels too, don’t you?
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
***I wrote Matt and asked him if his grandfather eventually believed in Jesus Christ as His Savior and he told me that he did!