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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Other Grandmother's Legacy

Last month I wrote about my grandmother. This week, I want to tell you about my other grandmother.

Today, Myrna Hurst will have 92 candles on her birthday cake. Well, maybe not literally, but she could have that many if she wanted them.

Myrna came to know the Lord as a young woman. She grew up in a Lutheran church but had never heard the gospel. She met Jesus in a large tent in Los Angeles along with thousands of other people, and she was never the same again.

She was not a world traveler, but her impact will be felt throughout the earth. Let me explain why.

My grandmother never met a person that wasn't an instant friend. It is impossible to meet her and not smile. She just exudes love to others.

Her impact is difficult to measure, but I'll try to give you a sense of it. You see, my grandmother has lived her entire life being a harvester of souls. If you were in public with her, you literally couldn't spend an afternoon and not see her tell someone about Jesus.

When I was 25, and she 83, she took me to the movies. Right in front of us, a young woman fell to the ground and twisted her ankle. She quietly cried, probably partially because of the pain she was in, but also for the embarrassment of having just fallen in public. The only thing that went through my carnal mind was, "Wow. Sucks to be her." The next thing I know, my grandmother is sitting next to the woman, praying for her and with her. They talked, about Jesus, of course, and the woman ended up walking away with a new-found purpose and direction in her life.

It wasn't forced. She wasn't trying to be a harvester of souls. She was being Myrna. A woman sold out to her master. Sold out to love. Sold out to a way of life.

You see, Myrna knew something. Jesus is real. Jesus wants to be in a personal relationship with you. She couldn't help but tell people that. That's what she knew and she wanted you to know it too. She worked from the time she was a young woman until she was 89, in the same church, at the same location, for the same people. In title, her role was Parish Worker. In reality, she did it all: prayer warrior, speaker, Bible study leader, friend, companion, officiant, apologist, evangelist, thinker, teacher, pastor, and servant.

She has shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one-on-one, more than anyone else I've heard about or read about. The crown awaiting her is radiant and polished, and she will smile that giant smile with big tears in her eyes (that I've seen so many times) as Jesus tells her, "well-done, good and FAITHFUL servant."

Her life has served, and still serves, to remind me every day that when Jesus is real to you, it will change who  you are, through and through.