A preschool girl who was adored by her parents was so excited as they had finished their dinner for she knew what came next. Her parents had bought her a little toy piano for Christmas. On a cold wintry night after dinner, her father asked her to go and get her piano and play him a tune. The toddler went into the other room and picked up her piano and in her haste to get back to her parents, she tripped and fell with her small keyboard. As she fell, she hit her eye on the edge of the toy and was severely injured. Dad rushed over picked her up, and mom wrapped a blanket around her as he ran with her to the home of the town Doctor. The doctor treated her most of the night. His valiant efforts were to no avail, the little girl lost her eye. Her father never seemed to get over the horror of that night, his two-year-old girl had lost an eye, and he felt responsible. Her father would only live a couple more years, he died of an undiagnosed disease. A young mother, now a widow with two small children to raise with little to no resources. The mother cleaned houses and laundered and ironed clothes and kept her little family together. Six years after the accident a new church was being started in the town. The evangelists had pitched a tent on the edge of the village and held services for a month. Several people had come to faith in Christ including two of her sisters and their husbands. The sisters were quite concerned about their widowed sister and invited her to the tent meeting to no avail. They asked the lady preaching the meeting if she would make a call on their sister, the pastor agreed. She went the next day, and though the young mother was cordial and welcomed the lady preacher into her house, and bowed her head when the pastor prayed for her and her children. After the visit, the young mother said I would never go and her that lady preach. That night after she had put her children to bed and had finally gotten herself into bed, she could not sleep, she felt the Lord was speaking to her and telling her to get up on Sunday and get the children ready and go to the church where the lady and her husband were pastoring. On Sunday morning she made it to the little Church of the Nazarene in Paulding Ohio with her two children. That morning after hearing a salvation message, Elizabeth Latimer went to an altar and prayed her way into a right relationship with God. She joined the church and next year will mark 100 years since a member of our family has been a member of the Church of the Nazarene. The little girl who lost her eye in a childhood accident? She was my grandmother, LaVon Latimer Bradford. She had a tremendous impact on my life. Though blind, she saw Jesus, and He made all the difference in her life. Though blind she had clearer insight into matters of the spirit than anyone I have yet to meet. She was vibrant and optimistic and hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about her and the many things she taught me.
What is your story? Your story can change when you give the pen to Christ and allow Him to write His story on your heart and life. Of the things I learned from grandma even when tragedy and pain come, you can give those things to the Lord and He does bring beauty out of ashes! O Come Let us adore Him!