My Grandfather was the kindest, gentlest person in the whole world. He was a tiny bit of a scots man who stood no more that 5’2”. Married my Grandmother, all five feet of her, from England- a very lively,loving couple. He worked for the railway as their financial advisor, and she worked at home-cooking, cleaning, sewing, washing clothes through the old ringer washer at the kitchen sink ( as money was not something that was in abundance) and raising children. All 125 of them over time, (for they were foster parents), plus their own five. One being, my Mother.
My Grandfather never knew how to drive, never had a car, never desired one. He always said the good Lord gave him legs that were to be used. So, come rain, sleet or six feet of snow, they walked everywhere. Working hard at whatever job or assigned chore given, was expected of all. Being respectful, punctual, and caring of others, was a given.
If there was not much, you shared what you had with everyone, for God would always provide. Whether it was your turn to help cook, weed the garden,
shovel snow, or walk the dog in the rain – everyone had something that had to be done.
As Grandpa used to say, together we are all like a well-oiled clock.
He called himself a man of faith. One who believed (with no room for exceptions) that Sunday was the day of Sabbath. Where all were invited to visit God’s house. To enter in, to worship together with others, to get down on our knees and thank the good Lord for his abundance of blessings. It was the day where family, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and all others who were no blood kin at all, gathered. To share in the harmony of laughter, containers full of homemade foods-hot right from the oven, and best of all to share and hear the stories of yesterday and the hopes of tomorrow. The stories of times where relentless prayer and lamentations were heard by God. The sharing of memories of those who had gone on before us, leaving a legacy of riches beyond measure. Of times where you heard expressions “we were as poor as dirt” brought laughter and tears. Or comments such as, “do you remember when”brought momentary silence.
He believed in obedience and kindness, wrapped up together. No unkind words escaped his lips. He always said if you wanted respect, then first, respect must be given. That nothing in this world is free! That families must work together, to do their best before God, for all they have. For God Himself has written in His Word, that He expects everyone to work, little or big. For we all have something to contribute, because it brings everyone together, fulfilling the destiny of Gods creation. That we are always to give back to God first and foremost, for all belongs to Him.He was known within the community as one who would give you the shirt off his back, with no questions nor judgement. Daily he reminded his family, that there is good in everyone, some people just need a second chance-a helping hand, after all we all are family! Many times, he would go for a walk after supper. It was not until years later, I learnt that he went to the corner store to purchase milk or bread, for others within the neighbourhood for their morning. He was faithful to all. His word was like gold, noticeable and solid. You could count on what he said, and his behaviors demonstrated so.
My Grandpa was a man of integrity, patience, gentleness, and for me- comfort. I relished the times when I was left in his care. For they were special, for it was just him and I. I loved to be lifted to sit on his lap, while cherry smoke rose from within his pipe and we talked. He talked to me about things before my time, things then-but most of all he talked about God. About his relationship with God.
I relished how he shared with me the stories written within the Bible. Causing each one of them to come to life! Where each written word, each parable, offered insight, guidance, and direction from Christ,through Christs journey, to how we are to live. How we all are called to be followers of Christ, how we are to reflect our heavenly Fathers attributes one to another. But most of all how each one reveals the compassion and forgiveness of Christ, the heart of Christ, the undeniable love of Christ. Of Christs desire for every person to come to Him, to choose life with Him. I did not know it then, but he was planting the seeds of God’s Word, of hope and eternal life within me. He was tending the garden of revelation that there is nothing greater or more important that any person could do in this world, than to have a heart-filled relationship with Christ.