I remember Maggie first and foremost as a farmer, she was always working in one of our many gardens or attending to one of our several pastures. The happiest I ever saw her was when she was working the land, receiving company, playing the piano or going off to a church meeting. I was always fascinated that she seemed years younger to us when she was in the presence of her church friends. She would light up the most when Amos and Ruby would drop by to offer us a ride to church, and for their Spirit of Hospitality, I will be forever grateful, for it was during those young years of my life that I would follow them to church, trying desperately not to say a word so as not to disturb what appeared to me to be a ‘Blessed Communion Time’, it was as though you could sense the presence of angels all about those great Elders.
Other times when she seemed to grow younger before our eyes as little children is when Clint Sutton would drop by our home when walking off a pasture that he rented from her near by full of his cattle. We children would not dare to interrupt them, we just enjoyed their Spirit of Hospitality and we were Grateful to God to see that friendships were not just for the young, it appeared to us that friendships would became purer and richer with time and aging, and our little minds would ponder who God would Predestine to be our Elder friends.
I knew my Grandmother was strong in her body and in her spirit by the way she worked the gardens all day long and managed to prepare meals for us as well, but I never really knew the depth and strength within her spirit until we witnessed her playing the piano ‘in the spirit’. We would hang out on the porch or in the yard when she played, and the power and strength that come out of the piano and her voice was overwhelming to us. Normally Maggie would not speak very much at all, her mother was an American Indian, so her natural personality was very quiet and spiritual. Maggie had given birth to our mother (her third child) very late in life.
Maggie’s husband had passed away when our mother was just 10 years old, so we never met our Grandfather who was the eleventh child of a Civil War Prisoner of War Camp Survivor. Maggie led us by example and always knew which challenge to present to us next, so we were never bored. When she played the piano and sang, it was like witnessing a miracle, our little minds would ask ‘where is all that sound coming from’, to hear someone who was so often quiet making such a loud and joyful noise was strange to us. I can remember peeping into the living room through an open porch window to see if other musicians were present because the sound was just so beautiful, but it was just Granny as she seemed to be so young in that Spirit of Hospitality. May others come to understand the importance of the Holy Spirit and all of the Gifts and Fruits of The Spirit.
I followed Granny to church and can remember having my first encounter with Jesus at Vacation Bible School. I was on the playground one summer afternoon and I can remember sitting down in a shady area near the church, putting my hands over my face and crying out to God for help in my little lost world; when I looked up, I saw Jesus descending as an angel in front of me. It was then that I remembered what I had heard in Bible School, that He was my Helper. From that day on, I knew in my heart there was no savior for me and no solution to my problems except for Him. It was at Church that I learned to lean on Him in all things. He has been so faithful to make Himself and His Holy Spirit available to me during my times of need. Later on that same year, God confirmed my Faith by drawing my attention to the word ‘Remembrance’ that was engraved on the communion table at the front of the church. The Spirit spoke to my spirit and let me know that if I would always REMEMBER Him and cry out to Him in Prayer, that He would remain faithful and show up on my behalf, and He has kept His promise unto me.
At the age of 15, I was picked to be the FFA - Future Farmers of America’s Sweetheart and was called to Raleigh, NC to give a speech on ‘Why is Farming Important to America’. My reply was not very popular, but I went on to tell them that God Gave Man the Garden to tend and we will pick up with that task once again in Heaven when we are called back into Glory and that if we neglect Farming, it’s just a matter of time before man will begin to neglect everything else that God has given unto us to tend, including His Word and the Next Generation.
At the age of 16, I was picked to be on Homecoming Court. The night of Homecoming, my mother’s name was called over the loud speaker, not because I had won Homecoming Queen, but because my Grandmother Maggie Allison had passed away and my mother was being paged with the ‘good news’ of my Grandmother’s Homecoming. A very sweet spirit settled over me as I received the ‘good news’ and a sweet Reminder from the Holy Spirit to always Remember that the Homecoming with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will always be our greatest crowning moment, and how I long to lay that crown down at the Feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, along with all the Saints and Elders who have paved a way for us all to hear the good news message and the beautiful sounds of Heaven, making a way for us all to be Saved, and to Live, and Move, and Have our Being (Acts 17:28) in His Eternal Garden. Blessings to you all, In Jesus Name, Amen.Granddaughter of Maggie McGinnis Allison