Tales from the Mountain – June
Technically, she was my third cousin (If I calculate correctly) on my mom’s side and mom to Tim (my age). Herb and June Harper lived waaaaay out in the country on Hwy 180 toward the Grand Canyon. Well, it seemed way out there to me, it was actually only seven miles from our house on the west side, but that’s a fair distance when you ride a bike back and forth. June was my second “mom,” she had full permission to discipline me…and it was required on occasion. Tim and I could usually be found at one of our two homes and there were many sleep-overs. I loved going to Tim’s because it was out in the woods and we could do most anything we wanted from the treehouse, rock climbing (who needs ropes?), shooting, hiking, or just playing ball on the huge lawn.
June died just three years ago at the age of 101! She was blind the last decade or so but her mind remained sharp and on the few occasions I visited, she knew me instantly just from my hello. Tim and his wife Bonnie cared for her until her graduation day. It gave us the chance to remember our childhood and days spent in the woods. I am grateful for her influence, her presence in my life.
We were faithful churchgoers in my house; Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday prayer meeting. Interestingly, we didn’t pray much in my family, in fact, I only remember a very few times someone offered a prayer – usually around the dinner table on holidays. Conversation about God, a sermon, or our various activities at the church were much less rare, thankfully.
It was different at Tim’s. Prayer was very much a part of the day and definitely at every meal. June taught me to pray, at least early on. She would stop and say, “You know, we need to pray for the Jones’.” They were missionaries in Africa and very distant relatives of the Harper’s which I found really cool; I actually knew someone who had visited the ‘continent’. Perhaps I would have learned about prayer from someone else, but June took the time to teach me; thank you June! We prayed about most everything from food to business, family and beyond.
2 Timothy 3:14-15; “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
I give thanks for Herb and June and for Mom and Dad. I was blessed to have extended family to “fill-in” in places where Mom & Dad lacked. I’m thankful for the extended family who filled-in for our children in places Valerie and I lacked. Truly, it takes a village.
Our journey of learning should never stop throughout our life nor should our journey of mentoring others along the way. What are you doing to continue learning about God? Who are you mentoring? With a lifetime of experiences, each has something to share, please don’t withhold your wisdom. How is your prayer life? Need some help getting started, restarted? Stay tuned, in February we’ll be focusing each Sunday on some aspect of prayer.