This is the Day…Tuesday
July 28, 2020
Rosa Todd Lineberger
Several years before my mother died in 2015, she was clearing some old books out one of the rooms in her house. The two-bedroom house had an interior room that was previously used as a den before my Dad added rooms on to the house. My Dad had added some built-in bookshelves to the interior room so that my Mom would have plenty of space to store all her reading materials.
Mother was a prolific reader and the whole wall of shelves my Dad had built were full of John Grisham novels, biographies, and my Mom’s favorite murder mystery novels. As mother became older and her Macular Degeneration advanced, she was unable to read most of her books and decided it was time to share them. She donated many of the books to the local public library and some were sent to Goodwill and Christian Ministries.
But there was one specific book that she wanted me to have. It was a small book with a very tattered cover, yellowed pages, and a broken binding. Clearly, time had not been kind to the exterior of this book. When she handed me the book, I looked at its condition with some distain. The cover said it was Selected Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe. While I enjoy good poetry and obviously love to read or tell a good tale, I had never been much of a fan of Edgar Allan Poe.
Then my Mom told me to open the cover and look at the first page. As I opened the tattered cover, I noticed a name written in pencil on the first page. Rosa Todd. Rosa Todd married Walter Luther Lineberger and together they had five children. Juanita, Luciene, Jack, Bill, and Betty Gray Lineberger. Betty Gray was my mother.
After the birth of Betty Gray, Rosa developed a sore on her nose that resulted in blood poisoning. Certainly, this was an infection that could have easily been controlled with today’s medicines, however in 1929 it was deadly. Rosa died less than a year after my mother was born. Rosa Todd Lineberger was my grandmother.
Suddenly, this old torn up book of poems became a treasured possession to me. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite books. Its value to me goes well beyond its external condition.
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” Exodus 19:5a
Sometimes life can be rather unkind to our exteriors. We can become tattered and torn and even broken. But as we are faithful through those difficult days, we become God’s special treasured possession. Our value to our Lord goes well beyond our external condition.