In honor of Father’s Day, let me share a bit about my maternal grandfather. I’ve learned a lot from him and as I learn more of his story and piece things together, it is clear that he was a resilient man. A man who understood from childhood that, “Hope is a function of struggle” (Rising Strong, 202). He was kind even when others hadn’t been kind to him, he was generous even when others hadn’t been generous to him, and out of these hard beginnings - that could have made a person bitter and resentful - he wanted to bless the world and those around him. God would bring good out of this struggle. My grandpa didn’t use the word ‘bless,’ that wasn’t how he talked but his actions blessed people with his generosity, service, and humility. This was how he fulfilled a promise he had made to God when he was only boy. . . . And apparently, this was a promise he never forgot he had made.
My maternal grandma gave me one of her Bibles when I was college, I still read it today. It has been re-bound once and needs to be again. The hidden treasure are the notes in my Grandma’s script. And next to Psalm 112 are these small words climbing up the side of the column, “This is an excellent description of my dearest Ervin.” The words that inspired this note from my Grandma?
“Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.”
I thank God for my grandpa’s memory and for all the reminders around my house - and all the homes in our extended family - of the book shelves, dressers, coat racks, and magazine racks that he made once he retired from farming.
My grandpa was a good man. And sometimes I think those are the best words that can be spoken of a person. Perfect? No. But I believe he did the best he could with what he had. He was a good man. And for that, I say, thanks be to God.