Nannie Jackson always had an apron tied around her waist. The apron was always the one she had made herself with two broad pockets in the front. One pocket always held her handkerchief, the other usually contained safety pins, a few clothes pins and a pocket knife.
Her work room was the kitchen. I can still picture her rolling out dough and making pies.
I didn’t realize until she had already moved to live with Jesus that some of God’s greatest ministry work had been done in that small simple country kitchen and home.
Nannie didn’t hold any positions or titles at the United Methodist church she was a member of. She did not attend or participate in local social fund raisers or charity events.
She didn’t visit the sick in the hospitals or nursing homes. She was a poor widow woman who didn’t own a car, she didn’t even know how to drive. She lived off of a small social security check that just barely covered her basic needs. She made her own clothes and was smart at being thrifty and resourceful.
Nannie’s only self indulgence was snuff. She dipped snuff. Similar to chewing tobacco, but dustier. I don’t know anyone personally who still does it now, but back in the 40’s it was popular to do! Yikes!
I do not remember her ever cussing, complaining about being poor or talking about how unhappy she was because she didn’t have fancy dresses, shoes or jewelry. What I do remember is how I and my baby brother felt when we were at her home. She always made us and all of our cousins feel loved and cherished beyond measure. She invested unconditional love and attention in each of us. She cooked us our favorite food with joy and delight and she was never too busy to teach us about loving and sharing.
She always said a blessing over every meal. After lunch was her Bible time everyday, during this time we were to be quiet and listen as she read her Bible study and devotion. No exceptions. When bedtime came it was prayer time. We didn’t pray out loud. Each of us prayed silently, when one of us had finished we would say “Amen” out loud, but remain quiet until everyone had finished with an “Amen.”
Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew to come be “fishers of men” in Matthew 4:18-22. Not everyone is called to be a Billy Graham, Beth Moore or Jentzen Franklin. I believe my Nannie’s calling was to be an example of faithfulness to God and a giver of love to those close to her. By doing so, she planted seeds of faith and prayers of protection in the lives of her family.
Mark Mobley has a quote I love “The most important small group that you will ever be a part of is the one you sit at the dinner table with every night.”
Who gathers around your table? Being “fishers of men” should begin around our table.