I have often spoken of my Momma’s sister, Aunt Vera who took me to church each week. But I have another very special aunt who also pointed me to Jesus. When I was a kid we would visit my Dad’s sister, Aunt Lillian, for several weeks in the summer. She was one of a very few active Christians on that side of my family. And by active, I mean active. She taught Preschool Sunday School, Mission Friends, and led Bible Studies/Worship Services in three different nursing homes each week. She was also an extremely talented self-taught artist. Back before mass produced promotional materials, she drew out and painted three foot tall pictures of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong to hang in the church for mission offering time, not to mention the Baptism of Jesus scene on the wall in her guest bathroom at home (she was an original).
I could go on and on – about her cooking, how she set the table for every meal, her love for Wendy’s Frosties, and how we ran all over Atlanta one time to see the first live lobsters in a grocery store fish market – but one thing that she always did was pray for a parking spot close to the store. This was in the days before handicap parking, and her short legs and stout frame made getting around a challenge sometimes. Her solution was to always pray and ask the Lord to have a parking spot open up for her near the front of the store. And I’m here to tell you, more times than not, there would be one.
Sounds simplistic, maybe even naive? But in reality that was the kind of faith she had. Simple. Trusting. Believing that the God of the Universe was her real friend and that He cared enough for her to provide even the “small stuff.” Scripture tells us that the faith of a child is the key to the Kingdom (Matthew 18:2-4). And if God is so interested in us that He knows the number of hairs on our head, it would stand to reason that nothing is beyond His notice, His care (Luke 12:7).
So what has her faith taught me all these many years since she has entered into her eternal reward? It has taught me more than I ever learned in any seminary class or theology textbook. She taught me that Jesus loves me, He’s my friend, He cares for me and I can depend on Him to meet my needs – large and small. And even today when I find a parking spot “up close,” I smile and thank Jesus – for the spot and for my Aunt Lillian.