My great-grandmother lived 99 years. We called her Granny Peace. Peace was her last name. Isn’t that a great name? She loved to laugh and loved to make others laugh by telling great stories. Her visits with my grandmother usually lasted about a week which gave me a great chance to fill up on “Granny Peace” stories. I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor of my grandparents’ small sunken den one afternoon as Granny Peace’s eyes began smiling. I loved when that happened because I knew a good story was brewing. Sure enough the smile traveled to her lips and she became a young mother of three girls again.
Two of the girls (my grandmother, Lois and her sister, Ina) had a bad habit of sneaking apples off their ill-tempered neighbor’s tree. Granny’s expression turned serious as she told the story, “That neighbor of ours came marching over to the house and told me I’d better stop my girls from picking her apples. After she left I went out back and told the girls they had better NOT pick another apple off of that lady’s tree. Well, I went back inside to finish up a few things and then went to the kitchen sink to wash up some dishes. I looked out the kitchen window into the back yard and there was Lois in the neighbor’s yard underneath the apple tree.”
At this point Granny Peace was in another time and place and began laughing at the memory her mind had conjured up. Her snow white hair started to shake and her glasses bounced up and down. Her inability to take a breath hit the pause button on her story. I waited as long as I could and then said, “Well, what was she doing?”
After she finally caught her breath, she went on, “Lois had Ina on her shoulders and Ina was eatin’ the apple while it was still hanging on the tree. I went running outside and then began to laugh when I realized they had done just as I said. They didn’t pick any more apples, but they had been taking turns holding each other up and getting their fill. The tree was full of dangling apple cores!”
I reeled backwards just imagining my grandmother doing such a thing. She had definitely stuck to the letter of the law, but somehow missed the spirit that was intended. My Mema must have learned a lot from that incident. She grew up to be a woman full of the Spirit. She loved God and others by serving them. She did not serve because she thought she needed to, she did it because she understood love. Acts of service was her love language. That’s what came naturally to her, but she also practiced the other four languages of love: gifts, quality time, physical touch and words of affirmation. My primary love language is physical touch with words of affirmation coming in a close second. Mema showed love to me by stroking my hair as I slept in her lap. As I grew older she would pat me on the leg and tell me how glad she was to see me. Whenever we talked she had a way of holding on to my arm that spoke volumes to my heart.
Now as I think back, she also stored gifts of food in her freezer so she would always be prepared when someone was in need. She gave many ladies in the nursing homes copious amounts of quality time. When you were “visiting” with Mema, you had her undivided attention. Each of her grandchildren knew they were her favorite because she had become a master at each love language.
I’m good at pats on the back, hugs and touching people with my words. I can even be known to say a few positive things every now and then, but the other three love languages are not as easy for me. If I want people I love to truly know I love them, I need to speak love fluently. I need to pay attention to what others like and not worry so much about what I like. I know God wants my love to be complete, so He has placed those who speak different love languages in my life so I can learn to love completely. If I am the apple of God’s eye I want him to see the whole apple, not just a dangling core.
I hope you enjoy listening for each love language in this song, Won’t You Be My Love, by Mercy Me. Thanks again for reading.
Click Here: Won’t You Be My Love