Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Man that Excused Himself from the Table

1 John 4:7-21  God is Love

Last weekend we celebrated three wonderful people, my cousin and his marriage to a beautiful lady, Ryker’s Birthday, and also the birthday of my Grandpa who turned 85.  Traveling to this family event, I was excited to see my family, aunts, uncles, cousins that I hadn't seen since my Grandma’s funeral.  I was looking forward to a happy event.  What surprised me more than anything, is that while there, I learned a very important lesson, a lesson I believe came straight from Christ.  This lesson I learned, was one I thought I knew well and understood perfectly, it was the lesson of Love.  But this time it was different, it had a deeper more passionate meaning, one I was shocked to learn over the weekend. 

I learned that God’s Love will always have an overwhelming impact on not only those of us that know Him, but on those that spend a lifetime trying to avoid it. 

My grandpa celebrated his 85th birthday on August 22nd, this birthday was different, this birthday was missing someone, his wife, my grandma.   A little background on these two from my perspective growing up…  Grandpa was rarely around for his kids as they grew up, this is a well-known and talked about subject among his kids, and grandkids.  As I got older, I noticed that he would always head out to his shop when family arrived.  While we sat at my grandparents dinner table, laughing, talking, and being totally in love with my Grandma’s every word, Grandpa was never there.  I never understood why he did this, it was obvious from the smile and hug he would greet us with, that he loved us, but why did he always disappear? 

After this weekend, I think I just might have the answer to that question.  I noticed a different side to this man.  I watched him watch his family with a smile.  I saw him sitting at the dinner table surrounded by his family, laughing, talking, and him being totally in love with their every word.  As we sang Happy Birthday to this man of little emotion, I watched as he cried, not because he was sad, but because he was loved.  This got me thinking, maybe just maybe he excused himself from that dinner table so many times in the past because he knew that my Grandma with her kind words and gentle smile would and could teach his children and grandchildren what love was, what it meant to be faithful to Christ-something he was never taught to do, something he was not raised to do.  He knew she had a gift of teaching us how to love, and maybe his gift was to let her.

I think that the tears he shed were because he once again was surrounded by the love that could only come from one lady, his wife.   He could feel her presences in us, her love in us.  A man that spent his life avoiding emotions, was now overcome with the love of his family, a love that comes from God. 

I wonder if we as a Christian family, a family that has been taught by the ultimate teacher of love- Do we make the lost feel overcome with love when we are with them?  Do we love like Jesus loved?  Can they see and feel Christ’s love in us, from us.  Do we leave them with an emotion that for so long, they have tried to avoid?  When we leave them, are they now in the presence of God’s Love?

As a mother, I learned from my Grandma the importance of loving each other, taking care of each other, and living my life faithfully.   But who would have thought that I would have learned a much greater meaning and desire of God’s Love from the man who excused himself from the table.

1 John 4:7-21  God is Love