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Kathy Mullins Dingus



Granny sits rocking in chair with knitting basket beside her quietly knitting, with granddaughter sitting on the floor in front of fireplace.

Granddaughter: Granny, what were "hard times"?

Granny: Oh, child…hard times… Hard times were just that.. Hard times. Hard to live, hard to eat, hard to work, hard to raise a family…just plain, old down-right hard.

Granddaughter: Well, Granny, if times were that hard how'd you live through 'em?

Granny: With the help of the Lord, child, that's how. Plain and simple help of the Lord. There'd be times I didn't know how I was going to make it through another day…..much less through another week, but me and the Lord did it. Yes sir_ee.

When I was a young pretty thing like you, I thought I wouldn't need any help, I could manage life all on my own. But I soon learned that life had different plans for me. I would be tested and tried many, many times. And you will too, child. You will too.

I soon learned to cope with my hard times by trusting in the Lord, and I also had a secret weapon.

Granddaughter: A secret weapon? What secret weapon, granny?

Granny: I call it my Faith Sack.

Granddaughter: Faith sack? Well, granny I don't know what you're talking about! Can I see it?

Granny: Sure you can, child. Actually, I've been thinking about it and I really think you should have it….being a young Christian and all your married life ahead of you. You'll need it more than I do now. You'll be getting' married and havin' younguns' and well, you'll just need it more than I do.

Let's see…where'd I put it?

(Granny turns in her chair and fumbles around and finds her sack).

Oh, here it is! It's never been too far away from me all these years, and it's grown quite a bit since I first started it. You know, you'll probably want to add a few of your own faith symbols, too! Just promise me you'll pass it down to your daughter, when you get to be my age. That'd be nice, I think…

Granddaughter: OH, Granny, of course I will. But I don't think you're ready to give up on life, quite yet! Are you sure you're ready to pass this down to me?

Granny: Oh, honey my faith is strong. I know what's in that there sack by heart. One day you will, too!

Granddaughter: Will you tell me all about it, Granny?

Granny: Sure I will, but it might not mean the same to

you. You can take these symbols and apply them to your life, as you need them. Life sure can get mighty testy at times!

(Granddaughter reaches in and grabs an item!)

Granddaughter: (Pulls out a nail) It's a nail granny…what is a nail doing in your faith sack?

Granny: That's a good question, child., That nail is in there to remind me that my Jesus coped with a lot of stress in his life, too! More than I'll ever have to face in my own life. Reach in again, child….

Granddaughter: (reaches in and pulls out a thumb tack) A thumbtack? Now really granny….what is a thumbtack doing in your faith sack? (Looks at audience…Man, that was hard to say! (grins)

Granny: Oh that little thumbtack has come in handy so many times. When I had a serious problem that I had to think on for a bit, this thumbtack reminded me not to just sit on my problem, but get up and do something about it!

Granddaughter: Granny!

Granny: Well, when you sit on a thumbtack it hurts! It hurts just as bad when you sit on your problems and don't do anything about them! Pull out another, child.

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a can opener.) Granny, what'd you use a can opener for….besides opening a can of food when you were hungry?

Granny: (Chuckles…) No, this can opener reminds me to open the wonderful, amazing discoveries hidden in life. Well, like Christ's un-ending love for us. All we have to do is accept him, just take that first step to open our hearts to Him, and he will be with us always. See what else is in there….

Granddaughter: (pulls out a small bottle) What's this small bottle for?

Granny: Oh child, Christ has collected all my tears in that little bottle. He knows all about me. (Psalms 56:8) He's been with me during the good times as well as the bad. He knows when I hurt and he knows when my heart is happy too! Tears of joy and tears of sorrow have all been collected by God. This little bottle just gives me a gentle reminder of that. Go ahead, reach in and pull out another one!

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a mirror!) Oh, what a beautiful mirror! How does this apply to your life, Granny?

Granny: Well, this mirror reminds me to reflect God's love toward others. God pours out his love to us and He wants us to reflect that love toward others. Others should be able to see His love in us and want that same love within them.

Granddaughter: (reaches in and pulls out a bottle of hot sauce) Hot sauce, Granny? Now I know that hot sauce can't have a thing to do with Faith.

Granny: Have you ever tasted something warm? This sauce is for when we get lukewarm. We don't want God to spit us out of his mouth. He says he would rather us be hot or cold, not lukewarm. So I've decided to use Tobasco Sauce to remind me to heat up my life. We need to be on fire for Jesus Christ and the soon coming kingdom of God. Don't be a milk toast about it! Do you see now, girl?

Granddaughter: I'm beginning too, Granny! What else do you have in here? (Reaches in and pulls out a plunger!) Oh, Granny, you've put your plunger in here by mistake!

Granny: Oh no I didn't. It's in there for me to use to flush all the trash of the day down the tubes! We can flush all the sin out of our lives much easier than a plumber cleans out of drains. All we have to do is breathe the name of Jesus and here's there…waiting for us…and wondering what in the world took us so long to come to Him. Reach in , child, reach in.

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a dryer sheet)

Granny, the last time you washed your sack you left a dryer sheet in here.

Granny: No child, a dryer sheet is a very important part of my faith sack. For the times when we need a breath of fresh air into our stale life. To freshen a drawer full of secrets, or a closet full of old, musty sins. That's what that dryer sheet reminds me of….a breath of fresh air. The sweet breath of heaven. What else do you find, there child? Reach in, reach in…

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a box of tissue) A tissue box, granny. Now I know you've got a story for this one.

Granny: You're catching on, quick, youngin'. This here box of tissue is for those times when we just have to cry…sad movies, weddings, children leaving home, times of grief, like when your grandpa died. A good cry somehow does us good. Besides that we always feel a bit better. But a box of tissue is for us sometimes, and sometimes we need to share it with others. Be there for our friends when they cry and suffer or when they're crying tears of happiness we can rejoice with them! A box of tissue is a mighty handy thing!

Granddaughter: (reaches in and pulls out a rock) Granny, have the little ones been playing in your sack? There's a rock in here!

Granny: Nope. That's my Rock. You know what this symbolizes. God is my rock. This is to remind me of that when things go wrong, like they always do. God is our rock, shore enough.

Granddaughter: Well what's these scissors, for? Are you planning on sewing, Granny? You're knittin' basket is over there, so…maybe you just put these scissors in the wrong bag.

Granny: These scissors remind me to cut out all the unnecessary stuff in my schedule that is causing a lot of my stress in the first place. Do the important stuff first, and don't worry about what you can't change. We shouldn't be too busy to pray and thank our Lord, either. We rush around trying to do His work and we often forget about Him!

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a piece of chalk) What's this chalk for granny?

Granny: Well when something unpleasant happens I can "Chalk" it up to experience….hahaha. Remember this one, child. You'll need it. I've chalked up so many things, my voice squeaks!

Granddaughter: This tape, Granny? Did you need to fix something?

Granny: You're close….this tape is to remind me that a heart that's broken can be mended with God's healing love.

Granddaughter: What about these safety pins?

Granny: Oh those! Those kept me together when I felt like falling apart! It pinned my chin to my face when I felt like it was on the floor! There were times when I knew I had disappointed God, my best friends, my family. I just needed to ask God's forgiveness, brush myself off the floor and move on. God's love and His sacrifice allowed me to do just that. This safety pin reminds me that I can be held together with Jesus' love.

Granddaughter: Oh, Granny, that's beautiful! (Reaches in and draws out a candy heart?) What's this candy heart for?

Granny: This was for the very bad times, when I felt like I didn't have a heart. Sometimes we don't' have anything left to give, anyone. We are simply exhausted, to drained to respond to anything.

We've cried all the tears we possess, we've spoken all the words we know, and we don't feel we have any more love left. This candy heart allows us to be reminded that Christ's love is unfathomable and never ending, and we can tap into that love just for the asking.

Granddaughter: (Reaches in an pulls out a feather duster) What's the feather duster mean, granny?

Granny: This reminds me to "stir-up", hearts and lives. We are supposed to clean up our life here on earth and strive to live a clean, godly life here on earth. To do that we may have to do some major clean up tasks here on earth. Clean up our nooks and crannies that have been hidden from view for many years. Christ will clean up all of this and remove it to some grand garbage dump somewhere, never to be seen again! I really hate to clean house, so this reminds me to at least stir up something.

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a clean sheet of white paper and an ink pen.) Are you planning on writing a letter, granny?

Granny: I am planning of writing, child. Each day can be as new and clean to God as this white sheet of paper. We determine what gets written on it as the day unfolds. We can write happy things, sad things, encouraging or inspiring things, and things of Jesus. And at the end of the day, we can look at our piece of paper, see it is no longer blank, thank God for it, and start another day fresh because of the covering of Jesus' blood.

His love allows us to start each day with another blank page. We are the artist with the pen. Let's pen good things in our life. We can write our own happy endings. Don't wait around for it to happen without you. God knows the end already, and we should, too.

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out 2 tea bags) What's the two tea bags for Granny?

Granny: A two-bag cup of tea is my strong drink for those especially trying times. Also meant to be shared with a friend.

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a magnifying glass) And this magnifying glass, granny? How do you apply it to your life?

Granny: It's a reminder to me to pay attention to the little details in life. We sometimes can't see the forest for the trees. We want to show love to others but we neglect those things right under our noses, such as our families, and local church brethren. We are so intent on solving world hunger that we forget and walk by the homeless in our own home town!

Take out that magnifying glass, often child. Many will thank you for it!

Granddaughter: What's the phone for granny?

Granny: This is my own personal private line straight to God. It's called my prayer line and we have an instant connection. We receive no busy signals, no hang-ups and redials…no operators telling us our call can't be placed. We always get a dial tone, and our call is always connected--even when we forget to pay our bill. (we wouldn't have enough money to pay for these calls anyway!)

Granddaughter: What's this remote control for, Gran?

Granny: We often want to run things from the sidelines. We want to help the hungry so we send a couple of cans of food to the local food bank by someone else. We want to clothe the homeless so we throw in some old clothes into a collection can at the local Salvation Army.

These things are good because the needy will benefit in the long run. But our time is also needed. Many feel they are willing to help as long as they don't actually have to DO anything. We don't want to have to work the soup lines or cook in the local soup kitchen. We don't want to give our time at the local shelter. We don't want to deliver food to the local homeless.

This is how we use our own personal remote control button. Don't we at home just punch those buttons to change the channel so we don't have to GET UP and DO SOMETHING? We must realize that God is the power behind our remote control. And we need to use HIS POWER to accomplish good works.

Granddaughter: Granny, I've learned so much this evening about you that I've never known. I believe I know what's pulled you through all those tough times.

Granny: Reach in, child. Let's see what else is in there…

Granddaughter: (Reaches in and pulls out a laughing box) What's this granny?

Granny: Just push that button child, and you'll see.

Granddaughter: (She pushes button, and laughter fills the air) A laughing Box! It's great! How does that apply to your life Granny?

Granny: That there laughing box reminds me that there are times when I don't feel like laughing but I know God wants us to be happy and full of joy. Laughter is the best medicine, you know. Laughter promotes laughter.

Funny how that works isn't it? One good laugh deserves another, so I try to help myself along in the laughter department with this little gadget.

Granddaughter: Now I really like that one, Gran! I think I'll use this one a lot!

Granny: I think there's one final object in my faith sack, child.

Granddaughter: (Reaches in to the bottom of the sack and pulls out a set of keys) Keys, Granny?

Granny: Keys, child. This set of keys reminds me that I have another home awaiting me, a mansion in heaven. When I experience the frustrations of living in this world today, all I have to do is take these keys out of my stress sack, or simply hear them jingle, and I know I can struggle on to see my home on the other side that Jesus had prepared for me. I can't wait!

You know the excitement you feel when you have to move and have a prospect for a life-change? A new home, new job, new school? Jesus can completely change your life, and give you a mansion to live in, to boot! You can't top that deal nowhere, no how! And you'll get a brand new set of KEYS to go with it!

Granddaughter: Granny, I hope I can use these things and have as much faith as you have.

Granny: Now, child don't you worry. You'll be alright. Keep Jesus in your thoughts, and this sack next to you and you'll be fine. You'll also be working toward the kingdom and get to see Jesus one day and get your brand new set of KEYS. I love you, child.

Granddaughter: I love you too, Granny.

The End