To all my family members, The Benson and Crump families, and friends who are in attendance, I want to say it is a great honor to be with you all today, to celebrate the life, unlike any other life, the life of my grandmother — Etta Benson, also known as Ma Bee. She was, and will always be remembered as a mother and a friend to everyone she came into contact with. Her front door was never closed, but stayed opened to those who needed comfort in their times of need. No matter how uncomfortable the situation was; Ma Bee provided comfort to all of us. Not a day would go by that my grandmother didn’t do something special for someone. We were all touched by her angelic hands; affectionate hands that raised 10 children, 22 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Our accomplishments will forever be her cherished legacy.
Ma Bee was an example of a great prayer warrior, a true believer in Jesus Christ, and a child of the Most High God. She prayed a lot. She prayed for each and every one of us here today. Everyday. All day. Her King James Bible was her favorite book to read. And she could quote any scripture at the drop of a dime. One of her favorite verses were: Hebrews 11: Verse 1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” Once upon a time, I asked her, “Grandma, how do I get this faith that you are always talking about?” And she replied, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing cometh by the word of God.” At that point, my development in building faith began when Ma Bee and I started reading biblical tales about heroic men and women like: The Virgin Mary, Esther, Elizabeth, David, Noah, and Moses to name a few, that through faith, these biblical icons were able to remove or overcome their obstacles.
Ma Bee had two commandments that she lived by. Not just any commandments. “No Sir!” She would sometimes say that when expressing herself, but two of the greatest commandments known to mankind. She loved the Lord her God with all her heart, with all her soul, and with all her mind. Secondly, she loved her neighbor as herself. She followed Christ’s blueprint, which was the blueprint of love, and with love she taught me lessons by planting seeds into my mind, seeds that have now blossomed into tangible results.
You see, it’s very difficult to take a leap of faith when there aren’t any grounds to land on. But, if you were blessed to have had Ma Bee in your corner, always reassuring you, “Just take that leap of faith, you won’t fall, Jesus will provide the ground for you to land on!” How can you fail? How can you have any doubt with such strong reinforcement? You can’t. Ma Bee stood on the word of God, and she was that power behind our throne because God was the power behind hers. Like Christ, she oftentimes spoke to me in parables. Whenever I was trapped between a rock and a hard place, having tried everything and failed, Ma B would say, “He who laughs last, laughs the best.” Or, whenever I needed advice regarding discernment, she would say, “Monkey can’t change its black hand, no matter how hard it tries.”
Nelson Mandela once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” None of us are perfect, we all need correction, and Ma B reminded us, that through Christ, we might reach that state of perfection. When she was alive, those who had ears to hear, she led them in the right direction, and those who didn’t, it’s not too late to apply the lessons of love that Ma B taught you. Rest in peace Grandma (August 6th 1931 – January 24th 2014).