Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Last Week, And This One

Several months ago, Dearest Aunt Susan sent me a collection of prayers written by my paternal grandfather, Harold Francis, when he served as an elder in his church. I asked for them out of hunger, realizing I might learn a little more about the man I knew for so long yet knew so little about. I knew him as grandfather. I knew about his service in World War II as a cryptography specialist. I knew how he couldn't stand camels while stationed in Egypt. I knew how he loved pipes, politics, and all sorts of weird toys like the mechanical-elf bell ringers for Christmas and the frog that croaked when you walked by it. He loved his wife, Martha, only to lose her years too soon and end up alone in an oversized house in Overland Park, Kansas. And I gather he loved his special friend, Fern, who served as his companion right up until the night of his death on Christmas Eve, 1999.

What I didn't know about was his service to GOD. When that packet of prayers arrived in a plain brown envelope, I emptied out a hodge-podge set of writings on notecards, stationery and legal paper. For Grandpa, the medium wasn't important as the messages. He put them down on what he had.

And what were his messages? What did he care about when talking to GOD? Prayers reveal what's in the heart of a person, and although his denomination probably set some ground rules, Grandpa still chose his own words. So for these 30 days, let me take you into Grandpa's heart, one prayer at a time.

Bow your heads, and let us pray...

OUR FATHER, we thank THEE for the light this morning. Endue our hearts with gratitude and love for the blessings of the past week, and direct our conversation and daily walk through the coming week. Grant that we may render THEE service that will not only give us joy and comfort, but that our example and influence will lead others to love and serve THEE. May we realize and appreciate every day that all good things of life come from THY mercy and gracious kindness. All this we ask for CHRIST'S sake.

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