Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lover of Hyacinths, Lilies and Us (by Judy)

My grandmother, Anna Pearce, was a beautiful woman. My memory of her is vivid color – petite, always fashionably dressed, with pure white hair which waved naturally. She adored her husband, played bridge brilliantly, delighted in social gatherings and was an excellent cook. Her challenges were certainly great, living as an adult through the Depression and two World Wars with a demanding spouse, in-laws who shared the same house, and three daughters. But I have no memory of any response except kindness, wit and grace. Perhaps she is a lot like your grandmother, dear reader.

My own mother, the oldest daughter of my grandmother, died young. I was sorrowfully sorting through her possessions, when I came upon her wallet. I opened it, and was immediately taken back to my teenage years. There was a faded newspaper clipping, yellowed and crumbling. Clearly a treasure. The words on the clipping were ones my grandmother quoted often –

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft
And of thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

(Sadi, Persian poet, 1184 - 1291)

I don’t know who Sadi was, but I do know what his words represent to me almost a thousand years after he wrote them. They are a reminder of two things – first a grandmother who was as lovely as the fragrant, purple, pink, or white hyacinth on the outside, and even more on the inside – a woman who found beauty and joy when it wasn’t easy, a woman who knew the simplicity of feeding the soul, which was even more important than feeding the body.

A greater reminder is to consider what Jesus said –

And why are you anxious about what to wear? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like one of these.

(Matthew 6:28-29)

God will provide. I am released from that fear. I am freed to consider matters spiritual, which is a joy and delight, and what I am called to do. I can appreciate memorable, poetic words, and then look beyond them to God's superior nature, to learn about Him and ourselves in Him.


  1. Anna Pearce has left for her granddaughter a treasure more precious than gold; food for the soul. It is a gift you are passing along to your own granddaughters. Her tenderness of heart, joy in living, loving and giving is her response to God's own joy in delighting us with His garden full of flowers and blessings!

  2. Judy - what a beautiful entry. Thank you for helping to paint a picture of a grandmother that I did not know long enough and for connecting it to a great biblical message. Keep up the good work! Love, Cathy