Originally published Sept 11, 2011
This morning during the praise portion of our church service, my husband got a call that his grandmother had passed from this life in her sleep. In Matthew 9:27 Jesus told his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." We lost one of those workers today. If you look up the word "servant" in the dictionary, there might be a picture of Aileen Oakes. She was the first one to bring a meal (and organize others to do the same) when someone was sick or injured. She worked tirelessly to raise money for a Christian University close to her heart. She offered a ride or a helping hand to anyone who needed it. And the church - whatever was needed, she did. From teaching Sunday School, to working in the library, to office work and even driving the Joy Bus. I drove her crazy because I treated her like a guest in my home and tried not to accept her help. She could not stand to sit idle while others were working. One of my favorite memories of her is of the first time she visited our home after we married. She came in with her suitcase and promptly pulled a frozen casserole out of it to contribute to the meals she would be eating. She had far superior sewing skills to mine, and was so patient helping me create Shelby's nursery. And probably most dear to us, she supported Chuck and held him up during the most difficult time in his life. She had faults just like the rest of us, but I feel certain her crown is full right now.
As we continued to sing praises to God this morning, with tears streaming down our cheeks, all I could think of was how different Grandmother Oakes praises were this morning. My heart went out to my sweet, grieving husband, but the thought in the forefront of my mind was that she was seeing Jesus this morning. And oh, what a sight that must be! She must be so happy, and so relieved to shed the body that has given her so much trouble these last few years. But more than anything, I know her deepest desire was realized when she looked on her Savior's face. We love you, Grandmother. Enjoy your eternal reward.