It happened rather suddenly, too much of a surprise for our comfort, but we praise God for receiving His faithful servant into His arms yesterday afternoon.
I could go on for days about why my Grandpa was a cherished part of my life. I could tell you that he and my dad built the most wonderful and well made playhouse for me and my cousins, with shingles on the roof and a window that opened to let the fresh air in. This little house, tucked in the trees on my grandparents property was my second home - though I never had the courage to sleep in it, especially after Uncle Felix's cow got through the fence and was staring at me through the Granny-made curtains...
My Grandpa would sit in his chair when I arrived for a visit and my first priority was to go give him and hug and a kiss and grab a jellybean (or 5) from the always-full bowl next to his reading chair.
Mornings at my grandparents always included homemade bread toasted and smeared with homemade jelly - hopefully chokecherry - followed by devotions. Granny would read the scripture passage, Gramps would read the Daily Bread devo thought. As a child, I couldn't believe how long that took! (As an adult I was surprised to discover how short those readings actually are!)
When my grandpa would lead in prayer, he always began with "our gracious Lord and loving heavenly Father..." This wasn't just his "habit" this was his Truth. This was who he had known the Lord to be over course of his life.
As my brother and I carefully looked at the pages of beautiful old books in my grandparent's sitting room, I saw that the things my Grandpa read about where the same things that are always on my heart - living a life pleasing to Lord, building disciplines and increasing my faith with God's help. My brother flipped through one of the many bibles in the room and I noticed yellowish marks on page after page. "He must have spilled something" I said. "No," my brother replied, "those marks are the oil from where his thumbs rested. He must have read in this part a lot."
How blessed my family is to have had a leader in the Faith like my Grandpa. I'm so glad that he's finally Home.
When I read Philippians 1, I think of my Grandpa. He's like my Paul: the example I want to follow, just as he followed Christ. The longing with which Paul spoke to the church in Philippi, is how I believe Gramps thought of me and our family:
God can testify how I long for all of you
with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may abound more and more
in knowledge and depth of insight,
so that you may be able to discern
what is best and may be
pure and blameless
for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
have fun with my grandpa, Jesus.
I love you both.