GodReflection: A Secure Grip On Hope.
A migratory stop of my Puckett ancestors was Izard County, Arkansas, at the start of North America’s third Great Awakening that roughly covered the hundred-year span after 1857. The tidal wave sweep over the Puckett clan and their neighbors. Eternal hope caught on.
Five years after the six Puckett brother’s arrival with the dream to build a ranch near the village of Hope in the newly opened state of New Mexico they were joined by Kate, one of their three sisters. A widow and mother of four, Aunt Kate move to Hope in 1920 is search of a warm climate to recover from a serious case of winter flu.
As it turned out she was the lone Puckett sibling to remain in Hope after the Penasco River went underground and the land returned to desert habitat. She lived in Hope the last thirty-five years of her life.
My childhood visits made to Hope come to the surface of my memory. I only knew Aunt Kate as she lay in her bed blind from the glaucoma family gene. Had she lived during the twenty-first century, likely eyedrops and current procedures would have spared twenty years of darkness.
There is a sense we all walk blind through this world. Each time we leave home we are blind to what we are about to face outside our own door. We are blinded by unsuspected glitches in relationships. We are blind as to our future health (or the lack there of). Tomorrow’s events are always unknown. We procced blind.
Mark’s Gospel relate a story of a blind person driven by hope. He heard enough about Jesus to fuel hope for an impossible gift. As Jesus arrives near Jericho, the man hears Jesus is near. Bartimaeus sits in blindness and starts to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” After the naysayers fail to quieten him, they announce “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”
Jesus has one question. He knows ahead of time the man’s answer, yet he still asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus has only one request, “I want to see.” Without hesitation Jesus replies, “Go, your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road (Mark 10).
Through the years I stand amazed as I witness a similar hope in the lives of Jesus-followers. I am confident that Kate Cone was no different. Were Jesus to inquire as to her request from her bed, I suspect she would have replied, “I want to see.”
Let me share what little I know of Kate’s ‘Jesus-light’. I reflect on her influence for good that flourished in the sparse New Mexican desert. She was the only Puckett sibling who allowed her roots to sink deep into the dry landscape as she lived in Hope.
Our family often visited her daughter Mary and son-in-law Joe. They became her caregivers when she lost he sight. I suggest Aunt Kate could already see the light of Jesus through her descendants. God blessed the marriage of Mary and Joe with nine children. In addition, they cared for thirteen foster children over thirteen years. She knew the voice of every grandchild and of each foster child.
From Kate’s blind bedside fast forward forty years to the death of her daughter Mary. At the time of her passing, Mary enjoyed thirty-one grandchildren and forty-nine great grandchildren. What if Aunt Kate could have envisioned those Christian mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, grandkids, and great grandkids?
Surly, she would delight to see her heritage of Christian leaders, Bible school teachers, missionaries, public school teachers, a school superintendent, and numerous university graduates with influence among multiple states, cities, and even within other nations. Her family grew into a clan of over two-hundred people.
One Sunday as a guest speaker at a small Texas church, a Dr. Puckett story came to mind as an illustration. After the close of the service a young man, also a visitor, introduced himself to me. He and his own family serve Jesus in another city. “We must be relatives; I am Mary and Joe Young’s grandson”. I suspect Aunt Kate smiled with pleasure, no longer blind, in the presence of the Holy.
“I want to see.” Is not that a hope that bubbles within our hearts? Don’t we want to see Jesus? Don’t we want to see family walk in his light? Don’t we want to see again our “Aunt Kates” and the countless others they represent who await us in our next reality?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on I want to See.