Saturday, May 29, 2010

Angel of Mercy.....

My great-grandmother, Sarah Ann Beam (Mammaw), was an amazing woman.  In her younger years, with seven young children twelve years old and under, she lost her husband.  Back then, a woman with children and no spouse usually wound up loosing their children to foster care.  It was a blessing and a relief when her father and mother-in-law were gracious enough to welcome them into their home. 

My grandmother, Nina Mae, was one of the twelve children. She's the first one in the picture that's dated 11/24/1926.  She married Milton Andrew Wallace who became a minister. He and Grandmother moved to Chandler in 1944 after God called them to be there.  They pastored a little white church next to the railroad tracks.  I grew up in that church and I often refer to it when telling my stories. 

As long as I can remember, my Mammaw Beam lived with my Grandmother and Granddaddy Wallace.  I would get off the bus at their house and Mammaw would fix me some toast.  There was a picture of her and my great-grandfather on the wall in the bedroom.  I'd never met him but I often stared at the picture pretending I was there and wondering what it would have been like to have lived back then.

The thing I remember most about my Mammaw was how she gave to the poor.  I remember Mother taking her shopping for shoes and coats for a family with seven small children.  All she had was her Social Security check but I'm sure she probably spent it all on them.  I guess in her mind she never forgot how someone extended mercy to her.

Many other times I saw her do the same for other children and it made a huge impression on my life.  I'll never forget how she fasted every Thursday.  We would have a nice dinner that she helped prepare but she wouldn't eat it.  Instead, she read her Bible and prayed.  She never complained about it.  I often wondered what she was praying about.  But now that I'm older, and have kids of my own, I know she must have been praying for her children.  Stephanie was only a baby when Mammaw died.

A few years ago I wrote a song about her called ANGEL OF MERCY.  It is copy written and was recorded by The Wallace Sisters.  Here are the lyrics:

Mammaw's picture on the wall has been there for years.
I still think about her now and then.
She was a lady and a mother; but more than all of these
She was an angel and a friend.

If she had it she'd give it away.
If she needed, she knew how to pray.
She was an angel of mercy to everyone she'd meet.
A saint workin' for Jesus every day.

Mammaw took care of the poor; the young and the old.
I still think about her heart of gold.
If I could be some like her;  I'd hope that I would be
As loyal to my Lord and family

Cause if she had it she'd give it away.
If she needed, she knew how to pray.
She was an angel of mercy to everyone she'd meet.
A saint workin' for Jesus every day
A saint workin' for Jesus every day

.....A Tribute to Sarah Ann Beam

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