The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Meta's eyes

Our identity and mission is revealed by the glory of Christ that shines in her

Meta Stiles is 89, hospitalized and not doing well. My family phoned her during Christmas to comfort and encourage her. It was the least we could do.

Meta was a surrogate grandmother for my two children during the five years I served Salem Lutheran, an open-country congregation near Superior, Neb. My children stood in a long line of pastors' children (and many others) whom she'd loved and befriended because they were separated from their grandparents. One of my seminary classmates also stood in that line of blessing.

As we took turns on the phone, we listened to Meta's trembling but still unmistakable voice — and searched for words to express our thanks. But for every word of blessing we strained to speak, 10 words fell naturally from her lips. They fell like drops of precious dew, watering our lives again with the grace that glistens in the eyes of those whose gaze is fixed on God's goodness.

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