This was a week of remembrance. August 8 was my grandmother’s birthday. I liked everything about her, so the eighth day of the eighth month was always a golden day. And though I know that each of her days was ordained and fulfilled, losing her was like losing half of my heart.
So this week I’ve thought of her often. And I’ve smiled.
My Granny loved to take trips. Given the choice, she would rather plan an adventure than do most anything else. I kind of liked it that she had this “maverick” side to her. Her cookies often burned and her house was rarely tidy, but put a highlighted trip-tik in her hand and she was good to go!
There came a sweet season when my brother and I reached the age of being “ripe for the risk”–too old to whine in the car, but young enough to be willingly drawn into a grandmother’s world of history, lore and expedition. And so it was one summer that we happened upon the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, just a jaunty ride down the interstate in a sedan the color of butterscotch.
I remember it well. We traded the bright warm day for a cold and mysterious world of drippy stalactites. We weaved in and out of the underground labyrinth, following the tour guide and feeling a satisfying sense of novice spelunking.
Then they turned the lights out.
It was unnerving.
It was dark, the blackest dark I had ever known.
I was entombed.
My eyes struggled to adjust, the muscles straining to find a reference point.
The darkness covered the underground earth.
We sat on the benches, unmoving in the black. The tour guide droned on, but I hardly listened. I was uncomfortable in the pitch. Darkness is a scary place.
Then, the man with all the words took out a match. He struck it on the box. And there was light!
In the flicker of one small, fragile flame, the cave was pulsing with light. With life.
And then there is this great mystery that I have been filled in Him who is the light of the world!
Many years have come and gone since the “Granny trips,” and my grandmother’s own eyes have closed in death. But this truth I will always carry: Jesus is light of the world, and that whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life!