Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Legacy Grandpa left

A man of honor, integrity, passion, focus, consistency, vision, peace, love, strength, humility and a gentle soul. An upright man of prayer, tower of Godliness and a foundation for many a life. A pleasant personality everyone wanted to sit around. Diplomatic communicator, privately and publicly sought after counselor and motivator,  teacher, overseer and the glue that bound cracking relationships. A soldier for a cause in every literal sense of the word, with a ministry in every area of his life, especially for the needy. Fearless without hesitation, doubt or indecision in execution of duty. Modest hero to many with an international sphere of influence. God's ambassador recalled from lifelong duty back home to rest in the arms of our Lord who deployed him. These were part of the words that formed the brief eulogy I gave at my grandfather's funeral this week while struggling to hold back tears of the memories of a man I spend the bulk of my childhood years with. This for a man who lived a full life, finally bowing to illness at the age of 92 years, having served in the Salvation Army from entry level to the rank of Major at retirement after more than 30 years of service, only to still continue serving another similar time frame within the community after retirement, mostly pursuing his natural passion of never turning away someone in need who knocked on his door. His purpose was confirmed as having been well executed by many who attended the funeral with testimonials of his selfless nature and genuine concern for others echoing all around the venue. One person said no one remained the same after an encounter with my grandfather. He was a practical man who did not say what he did not or could not do. He was there where the need was and was always willing to help a situation improve. Grown men, grandfathers in their own right, reminisced the days they were taught in school by my grandfather before he went into full time ministry, with many speaking about how he had influenced and shaped their lives for them to become the men they are. They as well, aiming to be like him in the way he helped others around him. What an extraordinary man who remained resolute in his cause until his dying days, while also praying for his whole family by name every evening even during the sickness that would ultimately take his life. He still kept a heart for those in need. The needy are always with us and sometimes it feels as if one has done enough for them and can rest, or at least do a comparison to those who are doing nothing for the needy and feel vindicated in relenting from assisting. I still do not know how he did what he did, because I fall short of that standard he set. What an easy legacy to talk about but how so difficult to carry and sustain.