How many of you read “Little Red Riding Hood” as a child? I know I did many times. The main character heads off through the woods to her grandmother’s house. I think most are aware of the rest of the story. Today, I want to focus on the journey to grandma’s house. I will harken us back as we look at simpler times in our lives. Follow me on the road to my grandmother’s house.
My Nanny, as I called her, lived in a big city. She called Belfast, Ireland, home. Instead of a house set in a row of trees, her place was in a row of houses. Nanny’s place was the third from the end of the row. Across the street, on the ground floor of another home, lay Davie’s Shop. We grandkids could run over to Davie’s to buy sweeties once a day and charge it on Nanny’s account. He also sold bread, eggs, and a few other essential items.
Clop, clop, clop. Here comes the horse-drawn milk truck. The bottle clink and rattle as it draws near. The milkman made daily deliveries because most of the homes had no refrigerators. Nanny stored her milk in the shade of the dining room table. In summer, the drapes danced as a cooling breeze fluttered through the open windows. A coal and peat fire warmed our bones in the winter months as the earthy smell wafted around the room.
Lack of Amenities
The power came from gas and not electricity. A gas meter hid behind the front door and required a regular feeding of coins to keep the lights burning. But, nothing heated the water. Bathing required boiling pots of water on the stove to fill a metal basin in the kitchen. We then proceeded to takes turns standing in the “tub” as mom poured water over us. We fought over who went first to get the cleanest and warmest water.
The water closet (toilet) sat at the bottom of Nanny’s small enclosed backyard. Yes, that means outside the house. A nighttime ritual included preparing a pot to carry upstairs. The pot went under the bed to save going downstairs and outside in the middle of the night. The scent of Pine-Sol lulled us to sleep. And, another fight occurred over who carried down the vessel the next morning.
No telephones in the home, but she did own a small TV. With only three channels to watch, we played make-believe or read books to entertain ourselves. We walked to the nearby stores or rode the big, red, double-decker buses into town for clothes shopping. Nanny bought her meat from the local butchers and the fruits and vegetables from the greengrocer.
As I look back on those simpler times, it is hard for me to believe my Nanny lived in that house till the day she died a mere thirty years ago. My own home as a child had many more amenities than my Nanny’s. But the memories remain strong for me and still brings me a smile. The whole area was torn down in recent years, and new, more modern houses were built. These came with all the modern conveniences that we expect nowadays. I can’t imagine living in those old conditions now. It sometimes feels like a dream when I think back to those days.
Jesus Makes it Uncomplicated
As I talked about in my blog last week, things do not bring us happiness or joy. Even though the place lacked so many modern comforts, we fondly remember these simpler times because of the love shared. We could overlook the discomforts of visiting Nanny for a few weeks because of the love she gave us and the joy she displayed when we saw her. Even back then, I viewed her way of living as rudimentary and challenging compared to my life. But, visiting her was worth the time and effort.Christ wants everyone to feel so absorbed in His love that nothing else matters as much. Click To Tweet
God offers us a simpler way of life also. He does not want us to worry about the material things around us. He just wants us to bask in His love. And once we fill ourselves with His love, God wants us to share it with those around us. Christ wants everyone to feel so absorbed in His love that nothing else matters as much. Jesus Himself gave up so many worldly comforts to show us that love.
Let’s look at some Bible verses to understand the importance of God’s love in our lives:
- John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- 1 John 4:7-8; “7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
- Romans 8:37-39; “37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Isaiah 54:10; “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
- Matthew 11:28-30; “28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Ways to a Simpler Times
God’s love is all-encompassing. When we walk in that love, He makes our burdens light. It is fun to look back at the simpler times in life. But, maybe that is because we like to complicate things in our world. Lay all your complications and problems at the foot of the cross and let the love of Christ flow down over it and simplify life. And as the song by Helen Howarth Lemmel reminds us;
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.
In the light of His glory and grace.”
My Lord and God. Life seemed so easy in the past. Forgive me for the times I complicate everything. When my heart longs for yesterdays, remind me of Your love and how that will carry me through all things. Thank you for providing the best way forward. And thank you for Your Grace. In Christ’s Name. Amen.
Yvonne M. Morgan, author, blogger, and speaker.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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