“Anyone can hold the helm when the Sea is calm,”
my Grandmother May told me as we gathered the tomatoes
and cucumbers for that night’s Dinner Salad.
I was 8 years old, spending a week with my Great Grandmother in Paw Paw, West Virginia during summer break.
Earlier that morning, I had awakened to a cacophony of thunderous shouting coming from the kitchen downstairs.
I have no idea, after all these years, exactly what the raised voices were saying, but an obvious conflict was alive in that kitchen. Both my Grandma and my Uncle were decidedly upset, but what remains clearest in my mind is the way my 76 year old Great Grandmother handled her vexations.
She kept on going, doing “the next thing” in our morning routine. Wash the dishes, sweep the kitchen floor, weed the garden, make preparations for dinner.. and all the while, she gave herself little pep talks out loud.
“It’s easy to be happy when things are going your way, but the cup that is shaken shows what is inside,” she mused aloud, winking at me in the garden as we weeded.
I learned so much that day. Grandma May steered a steady course regardless of the circumstances. I suspect her beloved son, a rebellious young man who reeked havoc all throughout his life, gave her heart an ache that was nearly inconsolable. And yet, she held on. When troubles crashed over her like a tidal wave, she clung to the helm and kept herself from capsizing.
Did she ever wonder why GOD allowed these things to happen? Why had her husband died? Why did her son choose the wide, worldly path, when he had been trained up in the ways of the LORD?