Thursday, April 30, 2015

Eulogy for Papa

My grandfather was a brilliant, powerful man with a great sense of humour.

There was one thing I could always be sure of when I worked hard or accomplished something – Papa would be proud of me. Whether it was the completion of a Masters degree, an award of achievement in highschool, or a well done grade-school project, Papa was proud of me. He taught me the importance of hard work and being proud of each others' accomplishments. 

Papa worked hard and accomplished much, and he used these accomplishments to bless others. 

Matthew 25:34-40 (NKJV) says:
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then PAPA will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did I see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did I see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did I see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to PAPA, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

I was so very privileged to be able to be with Papa at the end of his journey. As I spent time with him overnight from Saturday into Sunday I spoke to him and thanked him for giving me a lifetime of being a wonderful grandfather, for demonstrating that a continent apart was not too far away to visit your grandchildren. Most importantly, for blessing me and my children with a rich inheritance of faith.

At 2:02 on Sunday morning I was holding Papa’s warm hand when he tightened it around mine. He opened his eyes and looked up and he was finally free of all suffering. The song playing on the CD was "Give Thanks,” which includes the words “and now, let the weak say I am strong!" I am so thankful that Papa can finally say this again.

Most will be familiar with the “love passage” in 1st Corinthians 13, which describes many attributes of love. It ends with “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (NKJV) Through these past five years especially, I have witnessed the steadfastness of love between Nanny and Papa. Nanny continued to “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.” Thank you Nanny for showing us how to live this verse.

Before I would leave Papa after a visit I would leave him with the blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 and that is what I want to bless you with today:

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’

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