Saturday, July 14, 2012

Guerrilla Grannies?

We-e-e-et! When the warning whistle pierces the night, Sarah shakes off her covers and prepares to do battle. At her post, she punches the secret code on her buzzer: “Grandma Vigilante reporting for patrol.”

Sarah soon learns the cause for the alarm. “There are sleepstealers on the prowl.”

Grandma Vigilantes: by day, they are homemakers, scarf-knitters, and cookie-bakers. Ah, but when danger looms near, when the cry for help is heard, who can you call? The grandmas set to work immediately by dropping down on their stiff, bony knees with a mission. They pray, keeping vigil over the city.

The Tales of the Kingdom books by David and Karen Mains tell the story of Scarboy, an orphan who escapes from the Enchanter's minions and joins the underground resistance movement. And one of my favorite stories is "Grandma Vigilantes," the story that opens Book Three, Tales of the Restoration.

The Grandma Vigilantes may look harmless, perhaps laughable to some, but “the Enchanter’s legions had learned to fear their blitz attacks….” For the vigilantes know a secret: “those who practiced deep knee bends at night became filled with Kingspower.” Go, grannies!

They may look harmless,
perhaps laughable to some. . . .

Grandmothers are undervalued in today's youth-oriented culture. But many of us wouldn't be here today if Granny hadn't stepped up to the plate to raise a second family when parents abandoned their posts. Or to babysit while mom went to work. And we may never know how often Grandma's prayers have kept us from harm's way.  

The Grandma Vigilantes show the very heart of the Kingdom of God—a topsy-turvy, counter-intuitive kingdom where the weak say “I am strong,” where the first are last, the meek inherit the earth, harlots are honored, poor widows give the biggest offerings, a giant is killed by a boy with a slingshot, and a little child can lead. 

I have loved this story for many years, but now that I am a grandma, it means even more. I may not "drop down on my stiff, bony knees"--since I prefer the comfy couch cushions and a glass of tea close by--but it is still my joy and my privilege to pray on behalf of my family, my friends, my country, and my world.

And did I mention that I have the cutest grandkids ever? I'm pretty sure I have a few (thousand) pictures here somewhere. Oh wait, there's the oven timer. The cookies are ready!

These stories are a good marriage of fantasy and a Christian Aesop's Fables. They bring narrative, sight, and sound together to tell a convincing story with excellent moral fabric.
          -- Walter Wangerin, author, Book of the Dun Cow, American Book Award

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