"The God of old is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33:27
Once upon a time there was this man I knew. I think of him from time to time when memories cloud my mind. He was a big guy, tall and wide shouldered, at least from the vantage point I had, looking up from my child sized height.
He lived in the country with my Grandma Smith. His name was Horace. I called him Granddaddy Smith. He was a godly man, easy going, calm by nature, kind, soft spoken, until something didn't do as he thought, then you might hear him growl like a bear (my daddy got that from him).
When I came to stay a week with them each summer I was always back and forth between their house and my Grandma Sadie's house. Every time my cousin would call and want me to come play all I had to do is ask Granddaddy and he would load me and my little suitcase up in his big, black truck and carry me across the creek and unload me at her front door. He wore a fedora whenever he left his home and was always neatly dressed like a gentlemen would be. He would give Grandma Sadie a warm hello and off he'd go just to return at a moment's notice whenever I called and needed him.
He and my grandmother would sit on their front porch for hours watching the cars pass. It amazed me at how they always had a smile and a big wave to the passersby just like they were good friends or something. Sonya and I would kill flies with fly-flips the whole time they sat and Granddaddy never minded if we slapped him a few good times just to get one (mostly on the pant legs). He was a tough man like that. He would laugh at our corny little sayings and had an easy smile as he watched us play.
He sat at the head of their kitchen table and drank his coffee from out of his saucer. He kept the coals burning in their black iron coal stove that sat in the middle of the kitchen to keep us warm on the winter days we happened to be there.
Granddaddy Smith was a Christ follower. He served as treasurer of his church for many years and kept all the records in a black chest he was issued when serving in the army, it sat at the foot of my grandmother's bed. I now possess that treasure in my home and I am reminded of that gentle giant that Christ called home too soon for this little girl.
I believe there was so much more to him if I could have only had a little more time to find out. The glimpse of about fifteen years was not enough to learn all I wanted to know. But what I do know was he was loved and respected by his family and friends. I will never forget the first time I ever saw my daddy cry was during his memorial service. I knew then just how much love my daddy had for his daddy and how much he would miss him. Granddaddy's strong arms of love have been felt for many generations. I see him in my daddy more and more as the years go by.
The special men in my life, whether they have been with me most my life or for a short while, has shown me just how much the Lord cares and loves me and I thank God for that.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for the memories I have still to this day of a man that made a big impact in my life in such a short time. I am blessed to have called him mine and hope to leave a legacy of love to my children and grandchildren as he did. Help me do that, Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.