Her smile

She walks to the front of the church, 12 years old, the daughter of my cousin.  Tucking her hair behind her ear and picking up her mike, she begins to sing.  Though her hands speak of nerves, her voice is quietly confident, unassuming, equally sure on high notes and low. The kind of voice that lets you simply settle in and really hear the richness of the words.  Rich words indeed.

Through the love of God our Savior, All will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor; All, all is well.
Precious is the blood that healed us; Perfect is the grace that sealed us;
Strong the hand stretched out to shield us; All must be well.

Even as I rest in the comfort of the words and the promise of God’s grace in the difficulty of life, I think of the times I myself have been in front of the church singing.  I can never sing without noticing the faces of the women in my family: my mother, my aunts, my grandmother, my cousins.  Whenever I am bold enough to look up, I invariably spot one of them smiling at me, lending me courage and calm.

Though we pass through tribulation, All will be well;
Ours is such a full salvation; All, all is well.
Happy still in God confiding, Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
Holy through the Spirit’s guiding, All must be well.

I think of my precious grandmother, in Heaven now seven years. Music was a legacy she passed on to her children, and they to theirs, my young cousin and my children now in the third generation of children affected by her faithfulness.  My heart clutches up. I wish she could meet my daughters, the ones who arrived after she went to heaven.   I wish she could hear this great-granddaughter of hers, singing of her Savior.  I wish she could share this moment with us.  Oh, how her heart would rejoice.

We expect a bright tomorrow; All will be well;
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, All, all is well.
On our Father’s love relying, Jesus every need supplying,
Or in living, or in dying, All must be well.

I mourn the fact that my cousin does not have my grandmother’s face looking up towards her now as she sings.  So I blink tears back and smile on behalf of my grandmother.  As doubtless half a dozen other women in my family are also doing this very moment. And I realize that even though my grandmother now sings her praises from heaven itself, a bit of her spirit still resides here in this room. In our smiles.

And in the living faith that by God’s great grace and power, flourishes and spreads from generation to generation.


  1. Not just the women in your family Mary. I am too. I love hearing her sweet voice and I, too, make sure to smile brightly for her so she feels love all around her when she sings. 🙂

  2. That was a beautiful message, Mary. I have goosebumps. (And I live in the desert, so it’s not the fall weather.) Thank you!

  3. Mary, How blessed you are to have such a Christian legacy in your family…Some day we will all be together again… and What singing there will be!

  4. So much truth here, Mary! Yes, the voice, the song, the smiles, the love, the amazing love. I think we can’t help but pass on a bit of those who came before us and what better way than through a smile.

  5. Awesome, Mary. I loved the song and the message, too. 🙂


  6. I just re-read this post, and realized that I hadn’t told you how precious it was to read of this experience and your memories. Thank you! Wonderful, wonderful!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barbara Marchand, Kim K.. Kim K. said: Her smile | Owlhaven: She walks to the front of the church, 12 years old, the daughter of my cousin. Tucking her h… http://bit.ly/aTfvxk […]