sunday was a good day. it felt simple. that’s just the best way to describe it. simple. ordinary. and yet, extraordinary.
i woke a few minutes after ten. that doesn’t happen often at all. but, i needed the sleep. lina & i both did. we spent the morning talking to each other. just talking. it was father’s day in sweden, and the conversation turned toward my grandfather.
i’m sure we talked about other things, but this conversation about my grandfather, who died when i was 11, is all i can remember right now. i don’t talk about him much, but i think about him so very often. and i feel close to him. connected to him in some special way that i don’t understand or can explain. i’ve said before that he is my inspiration and my role model, and he is.
somehow i feel as if, in my own way, i am called to be like him. to follow him. not literally, but there is something there. something i have felt since i was 18ish. i have studied theology & have a master’s of divinity degree, like him. i have worked (and still do) in a church, like he did his whole life. i think of what i do with my life as my ministry, as his life was devoted to ministry. i have not done these things because of him, because i wanted to be like him. but, my life has simply unfolded like this. and i feel him with me and i know that there is a reason and a connection.
oh to be able to sit down and chat with him now. it’s not possible, but my mom has saved much of his work. old sermons, prayers, pictures, thoughts. i want to read through them all, soak them up, and get to know him as an adult – for my memories now are as a 10 year old, seeing my granddad work in his yard in his white overalls. i can see him sit at a desk or a table, writing on a tablet of lined paper with a blue ball point pen. i see his thick, white hair and dark, black glasses. i see him sipping coffee out of a china cup, with his legs crossed. i see him sitting at the piano, just playing by ear (a gift i did not inherit). i saw him as a gentle man, a peacekeeper, smart, talented.
i have heard from many other people that he was a man who stood for something, that he made a difference in their lives. he had integrity. he challenged people to live the best lives that they possibly could… saying & showing us that we had a duty to be the best that we could be… and most importantly, to help others along the way. he was a man with a heart for social justice. equality. fairness. compassion. love. all were brothers and sisters in his eyes. and all were called to treat each other that way. it was our god-given calling to live a life of love, for so much had been done for us, how could we not give back? and if & when life is tough, all we have to do is look deeply and see that, though we may not have everything, if we have even a tiny bit of love… then we are rich beyond our imaginations. and all of us, at all times, have love.
if look deep within, we can feel it: we have a presence, a spirit, something within us that sees us as we are and loves us all… so fully that we cannot even begin to comprehend. so everywhere there is something beautiful, everywhere there is a feeling of comfort or peace, then there is a glimpse of that unbelievable love that beats through all of us. how can we not share that love with all that we meet? how can we not offer a smile, a hug, a word, a glance toward everyone that we pass? our smile, our hug, our word, our glance just might be a real example of love to someone who has felt abandoned, forgotten, and lonely throughout their whole lives. it’s simple.
we love, accept, respect, and fight for others because we were first loved and created to be exactly as we are. we pass that love on and on, from generation to generation. fighting and believing and knowing that, in the end, all there is is love. and love wins.
my granddad, nicholas w. grant, has left a mark on my heart. i have never been able to talk to him about these things, but everyday i dream that i can have conversation with him, ask him questions, get his advice, hear his opinions. the amazing thing, though, is that he is not just someone that i think back to. i receive inspiration from him on a regular basis, even though we don’t talk. and i want to be like him, but still faithful to my own self. i wonder what he would think of me. would he be proud? am i carrying & sharing the same message he did? yes, i yearn for his guidance and inspiration, and some days i feel very inspired and close to him. yesterday was one of those beautiful days. and i had the joy of simply talking with my love about my granddad.
then lina and i went to church. we were still tired and didn’t really want to, honestly. but lina was going to sing some solo songs with the children’s choir, and i never want to miss an opportunity to listen to my love sing (read this as code for i am a proud wife!). so, i spent the afternoon in the sanctuary of a church i had never been in before; and the room, the space, felt so good. like home. i found myself thinking that i would love to work in that building. i have no idea why. it just felt familiar and warm. i carried my inspirational morning with me throughout the afternoon’s concert/worship service, and around as i greeted and chatted with people. every moment seemed to touch my soul even more than the last. peace & joy were building and growing inside me.
lina and i walked home in the dark, cold autumn air talking about the concert/worship, which was so great. i was touched by her sweet and powerful voice, as she sang. and i find myself dreaming that she could sing & perform on a regular basis… yes, i am proud of her, but she truly is that good & i’m not the only one who thinks that way. i know. here i go again… lina singing. me writing. the two of us on the road, traveling, exploring, working to share love & make a difference using our gifts. what a dream…
now. it’s monday afternoon. 3:30 and dark out already. lina is working & i have the day off. but, i’ve spent the day thinking about yesterday, reading some henry david thoreau (where that came from today, i have no idea), and pondering the “meaning”/inspiration of 11/11/11 last friday (but that’s another blog post that may or may not happen). i have a meeting at the church soon & then it’s time for some grocery shopping with lina.
so, you see, it’s just a simple day. but, it’s simply extraordinary in some ways.
peace and love.