Notes from Jan

Living with Questions, Believing Still

November 7, 2017


Like spiritual mortar, faith fills in the cracks,   sometimes providing the ledge where fingernails clutch,  hanging on until.

Good to be back in the land of grits and country ham with my Carolina family. To be here is to connect with roots of righteousness, where my parents and other family are temporarily planted in the earth. To return home is to remember through storytelling, viewing familiar places and faces,  noticing the absent ones.

Drove by the old house on Oak Leaf Drive, a portable basketball hoop looked out of place, rolled within the shadow of the Live Oak tree, dripping with Spanish moss, under which Mama and Daddy’d planted azaleas. The current owner rents to college students.

Places, like people change, sometimes for Good.

Chrissy, my sister-in-love, and I sat talking about Mama, and her kind of faith, without which it’s not only “impossible to please God”, as it says somewhere in the Bible, it’s just too tough to go on. Period.

Shortly before Mama died, an unanswered question tethered her to earth, according to the hospice nurse. We, like she, dangled from faith’s ledge.  When the answer came, Mama  clapped her hands together and exclaimed, “Could it be any better!”   Her faith slapped on an exclamation point, mine came with a question mark. I thought,” It could be better,  God, a lot better.”

The older I get, the less I need answers. Still need to ask the questions, talk about impossibilities with God, like maybe God could use a suggestion.  Mostly God listens.

Mama took off for heaven a couple of days after the answer. Like Hebrews 11 says, “Each one of these people of faith died, not yet having in hand what was promised but still believing.”

Who doesn’t wait for answers in the dark, clutch to a ledge for something, someone?

…still believing.”






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  • Reply Marty Lefever November 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    I remember your mama . . . what a rich heritage! God is good and so faithful . . . still hanging on and still believing along with you, my sweet friend! ❤️

  • Reply wendy lane November 7, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    “Like spiritual mortar, faith fills in the cracks, sometimes providing the ledge where fingernails clutch, hanging on until.” So good, so true! So many things I don’t understand, but one thing I know – God is faithful, and loving, and Almighty, and He loves me so much He died for me. That’s some pretty good stuff to hold onto!! <3

  • Reply Tara Lombard November 7, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Jan, I loved this post. My own mama knew you when she was part of the Joy Bible Study children’s ministry some years ago. I will read this to her this week. Whenever we drive through Gordon College campus, she tells me about the time you invited her and many others for tea at the President’s house.
    It is s good reminder that all this is temporary, and the best is yet to come!
    Blessings to you as you blog,

  • Reply Dale Lefever November 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Jan, thanks for evoking childhood memories. – mostly good ones. I trust our children will have good stories of faith to tell, also. I have tried to move my questions from “why?” to “what and who?”, but the temptation of the tree of knowledge still remains. At times, I have a hard time eating an apple! 🙂

    Blessings, Dale

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