• Michelle Burkhardt

Gram's Idioms

My grandmother was an amazing Italian woman.  I lived with her from the time I was in the fourth grade until the time I ventured out on my own at 18 years-old.  Since my mom was a single parent, my grandmother played a huge role in taking care of my sister and me.  When we were sick she nursed us back to health with chicken soup; she often cooked meals to help my mom; and she was my confidant when I was feeling troubled, sad, or anxious about school, boys, or even my mom. As wonderful as all my memories are of her, the one thing I remember most is the amusing idioms that use to float from her lips.

To name a few,  when my sister and I would fight, we would hear her yell from the bottom of the steps, “Stop fighting or I will knock both your heads together”; since my sister liked the finer things in life, she often told her that she had, “Champagne taste with a beer pocketbook”; and if anything upset her, these words freely flowed from her mouth, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” (I may not have been a Christian at the time; but, I heard about His family a lot😉).

It is funny how we hear certain sayings throughout our lives that just seem to stick with us.  Although my grandmother’s expressions are fondly stored in my memory bank; lately, I find myself repeating another famous quote that I cannot seem to shake.  “It is easier said than done” has recently challenged me in my walk with God.

To explain, I am reading a book by Bob Goff, “Everybody Always”, and amidst the pages, I find this phrase invading my thoughts—a lot.  Bob Goff is an incredible author and advocate for showing the world the love of Christ.  In his first book “Love Does”, Bob encouraged his readers to think outside the box.  Don’t just say you are a Christian ---be a Christian.  Bob inspired believers to love people the way Christ did.  In this second book he explains exactly who those people are.  They are not our loving family members, our BFF’s, or even co-workers or acquaintances who are pleasant. Instead, he challenges us to extend love to the difficult, the scary, the unlovable, the ones “who creep us out” (page 3). 

In an inspiring moment, I boldly declared, “I got this—if Bob can do it, so can I”!  Unfortunately, this is where I stumbled and discovered, “It is much easier said than done”. To illustrate, recently, the Holy Spirit prompted me to stop and check on what appeared to be a homeless or a troubled woman just sitting on the concrete median on Cameron street.  I was diagonally across the intersection, waiting to make a left turn going away from the woman.  I was dressed for a wedding which was to start in 15 minutes.  I wish I could say that Bob’s words of showing love magically echoed in my head; instead, it was my fear about being alone while approaching a stranger who looked odd, and my anxiety about being late that was much louder.  Sadly, the voices in my head persuasively reasoned, “Someone else who is closer will check her and/or probably already did; she is fine; she doesn’t want my help anyways; there is nowhere for me to stop/park; and I can’t be late!”

God lovingly (and somewhat ironically) revealed to me that I had not trusted Him because although I was punctual, the wedding started an hour late!  I would have had plenty of time if I had just listened and trusted Him.  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 NLT).

Thankfully, I am only on chapter 8 of the book, and maybe by the time I get to the Epilogue, I will be more prepared the next time God speaks to me. I truly want to be a Christian who shows that “Love Does” to “Everybody Always”.

Goff, Bob “Love Does” and “Everybody Always”; Nelson Books; Nashville, TN-2012/2018.