I hope Father’s Day was a special day for all the Dads and Grandads out there. Giving thanks today for the good men in our lives who have shared their love, kindness, and wisdom with their children and grandchildren. What a blessing such faithful devotion brings to our lives!
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10 – NIV
I stood in the doorway silently watching him. He was sitting on the side of the four poster bed, shoulders slumped, head bent, eyes staring at the floor. The sight of his downcast frame nearly broke my heart.
My eyes flickered around the room, a room I knew like the back of my hand. I noted the antique dressing table with its small upholstered bench, the chest of drawers, the chifferobe in the corner. My gaze paused at the double windows, taking a moment to stare out across the open field beyond, the remnants of the autumn harvest now covered in a thick layer of frost.
I had risen early, donning my Levi jeans and JMU t-shirt before sticking my chilly toes into my white Ked’s. I had a serious bedhead, my long blonde hair looking less like the Farrah Fawcette style I was striving for and more like the bedraggled locks of Frankenstein’s sister. I did my best with my round brush and moved on. There was no one to impress on my long ride back to school.
My heartstrings tugged as I stood there quietly in the doorway watching him. He hadn’t noticed me yet. That was unusual because he had always noticed me. For him, the sun rose and set in my eyes.
Looking out the bedroom window across the familiar farmland, visions of my childhood flashed in front of my eyes: the happy mornings spent plowing the garden seated in Grand’s lap, my hands nestled under his on the tractor steering wheel; wintry days bouncing through the pasture in the old blue pick up truck checking on the cows; his wide grin as he filled up the gas tank yet again after I had pleaded to drive the tractor across the fields one more time. Grand had given me my first driving lesson at age 8 as we made our way home after Wednesday night choir practice. Sitting in his lap, I took the wheel and steered down the deserted back country roads. He had chuckled softly as I strained to keep the battered old truck between the lines. More driving lessons at age 12 almost took out the power pole in the pasture. I was trying to learn to back up, but my first attempts were a bit shaky. He never yelled or fussed. In fact, Grand guffawed in a fit of laughter with me once we got the truck safely stopped and the power pole remained upright. The truth is he wouldn’t have cared if I had hit the pole. I was his girl, and I could do no wrong.
Growing up Army, home had always been my grandparent’s farm. Sometimes we were gone for two years, but when the screen door slammed shut behind me on the old back porch, I knew instantly that I was home. Grand would be standing beside his kitchen rocker, pipe in hand, his eyes twinkling with delight, lips parted in a merry grin.
The memories warmed my heart, even as the sight of my Grand sitting hunched over on the side of the bed broke it. He didn’t feel good. He hadn’t felt good for awhile. The years were catching up to him.
Standing there, I wondered if he would be there the next time I was able to get away for a visit. Maybe it was my Army brat raising, but even as a little girl, I had always had a hard time leaving the farm, my heart tugging with the question, “Will they still be here when I come back again?” Grand and Grandmama had always been there to welcome me home, but now at age 21, I realized that our time together was getting short.
But it was time to hit the road, time to head back to nursing school. The time had come for one more goodbye in a long list of goodbye’s said over the years.
Crossing the room, I perched on the bed beside him, placing my arm around his sagging shoulders. He raised his head, his clear blue eyes finding mine.
“Hey Grand, I’ve gotta get going. I gotta get back to school.”
He nodded his head slightly, murmuring an understanding “Yeah,” but his eyes never left mine.
“I hope you feel better, Grand.”
Another nod. A quiet, “Me too.”
“Grand, you know I love you.”
His usual wide grin was absent, but a slight smile played on his lips as he took in my face. I saw the old familiar twinkle return to his eyes as he said the words that had been our special words all my life. “Girl, there ain’t no love lost.”
No love lost. Never any love lost between us. The love of a grandfather for his beloved granddaughter.
No love lost. Oh, would that those words be true between all of us and our fellow man? What a world it would be if our hearts were full of love and not hate, peace instead of anger, hope instead of despair. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if the love we have in our hearts was never lost between us?
It feels like a forlorn hope, but that kind of world is the kind Jesus calls us to create. He calls us to love and forgive one another, just as He loved and forgave us. He calls each of us to reach out in kindness and generosity toward our neighbors. The love Jesus offers is never lost, but always available to those who seek Him.
I didn’t see my Grand again. He was gone the next time I made it to the farm. But here’s the thing. The love between us was never lost. I still carry it with me in my heart.
The love of Jesus is never lost. May we all carry it in our hearts and share it with all those we meet. May there never be any love lost.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34 – NIV
Lord Jesus, thank You for the love You freely offer. Thank You for the love of the good men in our lives, for the love of faithful fathers and grandfathers. O Lord, let us share Your love with all those around us. Let there be no love lost.