Bigma, is my Great Grandmother. Yes….IS! Because she lives on. She lives in my heart and she lives on through my Dad, Ginny Poo, Grandma Ida, Aunt Teenie, Uncle Joe, and so many dear family members...Bigma!
She was our rock. A rock that taught us how to stand on our own, whether we wanted to or not :-) ...Bigma!
What was so special about yesterday? As I sat in church, it was as if Bigma passed right by me..and sat. This has never happened to me before but I welcomed the experience. An elderly woman entered the sanctuary and sat right next to me. She was Bigma's complexion and build, though somewhat shorter. In the midst of praise and worship, with a big smile on my face, I turned to the woman and said, "Good morning". She looked up, smiled politely and said "Morning". Wow! I thought. She even sounds like Bigma and she smells just like her too! I exhaled and inhaled even deeper; not once, not twice but three (ok, four) times, trying to pinpoint exactly which one of Bigma's scents had arrested the attention of my olfactory senses. I still can't pinpoint the specific scent…but that's ok. It's ok because even today, I am still reminiscing about my time with Bigma, as I attempt to make that determination.
Was I smelling her homemade biscuits? Was I smelling her pinto beans, with the floating ham bone? Was I smelling her infamous baked chicken? Was it her sweet potato pie or her rice pudding, with extra raisins? Was it her fried fatback or the smell of a home cured ham, baking in the oven? Honestly, I don't think it was any of those scents but I enjoyed the memories that were conjured up as I remembered Bigma. Simply put, I think it was a soft fragrance the woman possessed, that until yesterday I only smelled on…Bigma! All I know for sure is that this lovely woman, with a sweet smile and an even sweeter spirit was sitting next to me. And I am STILL convinced she was placed there so I could take a walk down memory lane…I did, and I am doing, just that.
I'm grateful for the memories I have of Bigma. So many wonderful memories. Yesterday, I had a tangible representation of her sitting right next to me, in one of her favorite places….CHURCH. We sang some of her favorite hymns. As a matter of fact, every song we sang, yesterday, during praise and worship, was a hymn. We even sang "on Christ the solid rock I stand." I'm so sure she sings that one daily.
As the service came to a close I had a decision to make. How could I connect the woman and this reminiscent experience, without appearing weird? The conversation in my head went like this... "You smell like my Great Grandmother. You look like her too. Oh, she's deceased." LOL! Somehow I didn't think that conversation would be an encouragement. At least, I wanted to shake the hand of Bigma's look - alike and wish her a blessed week. Lord, is it possible? If so, how? I murmured to myself.
And then it happened! Pastor Eric said the magic words, "take the hand of your neighbor and say the final blessing (maybe not his exact words, but you get the picture). So the woman and I held hands and said the final blessing together. Prior to releasing her hand I said, "have a blessed week." She smiled and said the same. Whoa!
Thank you Lord, for answering my questions…..which were actually silent prayers. Another one of your beautiful daughters just made my day. In my best Mike Tyson voice….I was totally ecstatic.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Cor. 13:14
And Yesterday! Today! Missing Bigma!
It's not always easy serving cross-culturally so many miles away from family. But in moments like these I am reminded of the depth, height and width of God's love for me, in the midst of serving. Most importantly, I am reminded through His word.
By Rev. Sonia C.