In my mind it seems like I spent a lot of time with my Granddaddy when I was a kid. More time than I actually did. In reality I think I only saw him on a couple of major holidays during the year and two weeks in the summer. Up until I was twelve anyway. When I was twelve he broke his back and my grandmother went to live in a nursing home and we (my brothers and I) never went back during the summer. The time there was meaningful. It must have been because most of the memories I have of childhood are of the time I spent with my Granddaddy.
I think of Granddaddy quite often. More than any other of my family that has died. One day I was thinking of him and I called my brother to ask him this question: Did Granddaddy ever tell you he loved you? My brother thought for a second and told me no, Granddaddy never spoke those words. “Did he love you?” I asked. Jon replied with an emphatic “YES”. I had to agree with him that I too knew that I was loved by Granddaddy.
I know he loved me because he showed me. I could go on and on about the ways I believe he showed me. One example is how patient he was with my brothers and me as he taught us to shoot and fish. Once, my brother accidentally threw Granddaddy’s favorite Zebco 303 rod and reel in Lake Pat Mayes. Granddaddy didn’t get mad and yell, he got a long stick and managed to fish it out of the lake and gave it back to my brother.
Granddaddy liked to drive around town and “show off” his grandsons to all his old man friends. Paris was like Mayberry only bigger. All Granddaddy’s friends, it seemed, sat on old chairs in front of old gas stations smoking and drinking Coke. He was proud of us. Not of our accomplishments or any achievements… just the fact that we were his. Although those three simple words “i love you” are so very important to hear, the discipline and action involved in truly loving someone can mean and convey more than words ever can.
All this thinking about Granddaddy and his loving me got me to thinking about God and how He loves me. God has never audibly spoken the words to me “I love you”. But I know He does. God has revealed His love to me in so many ways: in creation, in His Word the Bible, in His patience, His grace, through my family, through you. The ultimate expression of His love, though, was Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. He loves me enough to sacrifice His life to reconcile our broken relationship. No, there is no doubt that God loves me. Passionately, completely. He’s shown me time and time again.
Happy Easter friends.