Not on my Watch!
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Tim. 1:5
There are defining moments that occur in all of our lives. Some of these defining moments emerge as tipping points impacting the direction our life takes, who we are, and the passions we begin to embrace. They can also create negative influences upon us such as fear, anger or bitterness.
When God sends these defining moments into our lives, they are outside our control. What is within our control is how we choose to respond to them—how we use them to build a legacy that will last long after we are gone.
My maternal grandparents were my role models and my protectors. When I was very young, my mom and I escaped my abusive biological father. We sought refuge in a trailer in the backyard of my grandparent’s home. While my mother returned to school to learn a trade so that she could support us, my grandparents went to work on me. My grandmother gave me unconditional love and emotional healing. My grandfather instilled in me the belief that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to do. They also gave me the gift of storytelling.
Every evening my grandmother’s widowed sister would join us for supper. While the meal simmered on the stove, the two sisters would sit at the table and talk about local news that never seemed to make the newspaper. Most of the time I’d sit in the hallway, eavesdropping on their tales about the townspeople I knew and picturing the scenes I heard as a movie in my mind.
My grandfather was a ‘talker’ and whenever he’d enter the room, he’d share in the conversation, disputing some of the women’s stories and adding details to others. He was the best story-teller I have known.
One story from my grandfather’s childhood has long fascinated and haunted me. In 1920 when my grandfather was ten, he and his older brother were sent to pick up a delivery that was arriving from Georgia by steamboat down the Apalachicola River to their home in Florida. Since their father owned a mercantile in a crossroads community, such a request was not unusual. The boys were always being sent to Apalachicola, the county seat, for deliveries.
After the dockworkers in Apalachicola had loaded a crudely constructed box onto their wagon, my grandfather and his brother traveled back home guessing what was inside. My grandfather bet his brother that it was a grandfather clock.
Back at the family store with the box now unloaded from the wagon, my great-grandfather used a crowbar to pop the lid open. As a boy, my grandfather was so scared at the sight he saw that he stumbled and fell backwards, tearing the seat in his britches. A man, soiled with filth and caked with mud, climbed out of the box.
The man who had been nailed shut inside the box was shipped during the night to his cousin, my great-grandfather, for safe-keeping. The man was on the run for supposedly killing his wife. Even though the court had exonerated him, the wife’s family sought vengeance. They had made it known that they would hunt him down and kill him.
The day of my grandfather’s 99th birthday I began writing Man in the Blue Moon, the novel that is based on the story I’d heard my grandfather tell. He lived to be 101 and died knowing that I had completed the novel. My grandparents were not wealthy people but because of them I have a rich inheritance – one of unconditional love and storytelling.
What kind of legacy are you building for your grandchildren? Will they be able to see the beauty, glory, greatness and love of Christ in you? Are you diligently praying for them?
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