Girl Ninja flew out of Seattle Friday night to attend a friend’s baby shower in San Diego. To say she was excited about leaving the cold and wet snow in Seattle, for the warm sea breezes of Diego, would be an understatement. I wasn’t expecting to hear from her much as I knew she’d be busy catching up with friends and prepping for the shower. On Saturday, she called me crying.
Her grandfather, who has been battling lung cancer, was in the hospital and on a respirator. He had contracted pneumonia and was struggling to breathe on his own. She went to bed Saturday hoping Sunday would bring better news. The next morning she woke up to a phone call from her mother; Grandpa was not doing well and she and her three sisters needed to drive to Palm Desert to say their goodbyes. He passed away while they were en route.
Girl Ninja flew to San Diego to celebrate the life of her best friend’s unborn child, but the Lord had different plans and instead she is in Palm Desert, celebrating the 80+ years of life her grandfather had.
Losing a loved one is difficult, but peace is found by reflecting back on her grandpa’s impact on the world. He was a simple man, at least that’s the impression I got over the five years I knew him. He enjoyed golfing, volunteering and serving at his church. He was a writer. A thinker. A theologist. He was the former executive of a company most of you know. He wrote many books (yes, they were published). He even started a blog with a little help from yours truly. He was a Korean War veteran. He loved telling jokes (even if you’ve heard them before), spending time with his wife, four children, eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, and he loved, I MEAN LOVED ice cream.
Although he was an accomplished individual, doing more in his 80 years than I could do in 180, he will not be immortalized for these things. Instead, he will be remembered as a man who wanted nothing more than to be an obedient follower of Christ. For all of his accomplishments are merely byproducts of his deep rooted love for Jesus.
Although many tears have and will be shed as a result of his passing, we find encouragement and strength in remembering who he was, how he lived, and most importantly how he loved.
I leave you with a short snippet from an article he wrote many years ago…
Listen friend, the will of God isn’t wrapped up in the details of what we do, but the character of who we are. It’s not just the large choices, but the daily small choices that cumulatively build us into who God wants (wills) us to be. God cares about the little things and His will can include details, but these are secondary. What is primary is that we choose to follow his clear direction in spiritual and moral arenas. Then all the details fall into place.
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