There is a mighty cloud of witnesses watching you. They are looking for something in you that is worth passing along to the next generation. They aren't listening for words; they are looking to see what you do. Are you aware of this Google search inside your soul?
The most valuable inheritance a grandchild could receive is not the savings account, it's the life given as a grandparent. I was blessed by a living inheritance more valuable than property or possessions.
My grandfather was a storyteller. His adventures become part of my heritage and he remembered how mom used to act when she was my age.
My grandfather was a mentor. For many he was a spiritual giant, for me he was a patient helper. His wood-shop was always full of tools and extra wood and he loved to spend time helping me build wooden boats and personal character.
My grandfather was a hero. There was a sense of wonder about his life. People always came first. To grandma and grandpa giving was much more important than having.
Thank you, Jesse T. and Myrtle Dotson, for your living inheritance which you lovingly gave to your children's children. We were blessed to watch you live.
Two days before Thanksgiving, 1957, I was in my orthodontist's chair trying to open my mouth wide enough for two hands, a mirror and a roll of stainless steel wire. The metal bands had been hugging my teeth for weeks, but this was the day for the wire to be installed. Only those who have had braces will understand the unexpected results of being "wired."
For the next 24 hours, it felt like every tooth in my head was being pulled in slow motion by a giant claw-hammer. Even drinking Nehi through a straw caused pain.
By Thanksgiving Day, I had gotten used to the wire. As long as I didn't use my teeth, the pain was tolerable. But this was a day when teeth had to work overtime.
We were gathered at my grandparent's house with relatives stuffed in every room. The house was filled with all those wonderful Thanksgiving smells that condition young and old alike to ask every 15 seconds: "When are we going to eat?"
Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen at the beginning. J.D. carved the turkey. Grandma said the magic words, "We're ready!" Grandpa led the prayer. And all the kids rushed to be first in line. I was so excited; I forgot about my braces and forced my way up to the head of the line just behind Larry. When it came to Thanksgiving food lines, Larry was the fastest in four states.
I piled my plate high with turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with nuts on the top, and my favorite kind of corn — corn-on-the-cob. Larry and I scurried off to the living room to "chow-down." I slathered that ear of corn with butter, salt and pepper and with taste buds ready, opened my mouth and chomped. The pain was unbearable. I would never be able to eat again. I shoved my plate away and ran outside in tears.
Grandma had been secretly watching. She took my plate to the kitchen and with a sharp knife she cut all the corn off that cob. Then she rescued me from my misery.
"Ronnie," she yelled out the back door. I came and she handed me my plate piled high with corn, fresh cut from the cob. "Thanks," I muttered. Then without thinking, I looked up and caught a strange sparkle in her eye, a sparkle that still is a mystery to me more than fifty years later. That was the Thanksgiving when I discovered something more lasting than the taste of good food.
To this day, I'm not sure how my grandma understood as she never had braces. Her teeth were perfectly straight, I know, because she kept them in a glass in the bathroom at night.
You are being watched. There is a mighty cloud of witnesses cheering you on to live a life worthy of being watched.
So, two things this week:
- Spend some time remembering the sparkle you have seen in others. What does real faith in action look like?
- Forget about the words this week. DO something worth watching. Make a difference in someone's life and let that holy sparkle shine.
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1 TNIV).