Little Doses of June / Tattered and Torn

A Little Dose of June

A few weeks ago my Grandmother passed away and I was asked to say a few words at her funeral. Grandmother and I were very close, so I agreed and knew exactly what I would say. But something was looming. That something was my intense fear of speaking in public. I’m using the past tense “was” as I am no longer claiming any fear, hence…the verb WAS. I knew I had a message from God to give to Grandmother’s family and friends, so I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from doing that; even this great fear of mine. What I didn’t know was how God would choose to help me overcome this obstacle of fear!

A few days before the funeral service my upper lip swelled as if I’d been hit with a right hook; a fever blister had blossomed and no matter what I did to it, it just got larger and larger. On the day of the funeral, just a few minutes before the service was to start, my husband looked at me and said, “Oh my, June, your lip is bleeding!” The surprise in his voice captured my attention and again diverted all my thoughts from what I was about to do. I quickly wiped the bleeding lip with a tissue I had in my hand and reapplied lip-gloss in a feeble attempt to hide this crimson wound. At that point, the Pastor ushered the family into the chapel for the service. As we settled into our seats, I knew it was almost time for me to tell Grandmother’s story. As I looked down to say a quick prayer asking the Holy Spirit to speak through me, I gasped at what I saw! I had a golf ball size hole with an inch wide run all the way down my pantyhose to my knee! And I was wearing a dress! Even my hand wasn’t large enough to cover that mess! In that moment, I found myself laughing hysterically at all the sudden chaos; but there was no turning back or anything that I could do about it. So, I walked to the front of the chapel and up the stairs looking for a podium to hide behind; all the while praying that everyone’s vision would be impaired such that they couldn’t see the swollen lip I was sporting or the gaping hole in my hose!

In the midst of all my chaos, as I began to tell Grandmother’s special story, a sweet calm came over me and the words, HIS words, began to flow from deep inside me. With HIS presence all around me, I told of my last visit with Grammy; how the Lord had prompted me to talk to her about HIM and how I had asked her if she was saved? Thankfully I was able to affirm to all her friends and family that Grandmother was indeed with our Heavenly Father at that very moment. I even told of how she got a little miffed at me for having asked that question. And that allowed me to tell how I loved that spiciness in Grandmother, a spiciness that was so much a part of who she was. I relayed to everyone how on that last visit we sang old hymns and prayed together. And I told of how awesome her prayers were, for she talked to our Father just like a little girl would talk to her loving Daddy whom she trusted for everything!

As the stories flowed from me, I never stammered, stuttered, nor even once felt a tinge of fear. My lip was still red and swollen and the hole ever present in my stockings; those were “Godly” distractions that occupied my mind and kept my fear away. And as a result, God’s message came through loud and clear. I allowed HIM to use me to speak to all who were there about HIM, about how He forgives us of all our sin and loves us beyond our wildest imaginations. My point is this; He chose this tattered and torn and fearful gal to speak about His strength, His way and His love. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty." So don’t ever think you are unworthy or incapable, and never let your fear get in the way of spreading His Word. My dear, I’m the perfect example that He does it all in spite of us. He uses our shortcomings for His glory! Yes and Amen!