Captain’s Blog


From Grandpa

On April 30th, my grandfather died.

The day before he died, I was reading in a book:

I’m eating my lunch in a graveyard. Human seeds have been planted in neat little rows. Stone stakes label the crop.

My back is against a wall, and while I chew, my eyes wander.

Not ten feet from me, a Richard has been planted. He was planted three decades ago. There is a space on the stone for another name, room in the ground for another seed, the completion of a pair.

The sun is bright, but doing less than I had hoped it would. The ground is wet and cold. I’m in Maryland, lingering behind an old gray church. The Spring is struggling, young.

The sun livens the ground where it falls, but only briefly. Clouds, damnable clouds, interfere with its grace.

It doesn’t matter. These seeds need more than the sun can give.

I stand and move through the rows, reading labels and predictions. Some time and effort has been put into these markers, money spent so we won’t forget where to water and weed and watch, so we won’t forget where we put that other pea from our pod.

Three postcards await our perusal, yea, three visions of a world.

One: I see a theme park where there are lots of rides, but there is nobody who can control them and nobody who knows how the rides end. Grief counseling, however, is included in the price of admission.

Two: I see an accident. An explosion of some kind inhabited by happenstantial life forms. A milk spill gone bacterial, only with more flame. It has no meaning or purpose or master. It simply is.

Three: I see a stage, a world where every scene is crafted. Where men act out their lives within a tapestry, where meaning and beauty exist, where right and wrong are more than imagined constructs. There is evil. There is darkness. There is the Winter of tragedy, every life ending, churned back in the soil. But the tragedy leads to Spring. the story does not end in frozen death. The fields are sown in grief. The harvest will be reaped in joy. I see a Master’s painting. I listen to a Master’s prose. When darkness falls on me, when I stand on my corner of the stage and hear my cue, when I know my final scene has come and I must exit, I will go into the ground like corn, waiting for the Son.

I see my world.

The man that let us kids creep around his pond capturing frogs and laughed at the effort. The man that I hunted and fished with. I saw him shoot a bird out of the air, and a rabbit on the run. The man that liked telling a good joke. The man who could still mow his lawn at the age of 97, and complain that, “I’m not as strong as I used to be.” The man who thanked God continually for His many blessings. He was planted in the ground, and his soul went to be with his Savior. Now he expectantly awaits the resurrection of his body in the new heavens and the new earth. We grieve, but our grief is not without hope. We will miss you Grandpa. See you in the Spring.

May 8th, 2010 Posted by | photos | no comments

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