Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Story: Grandpa Spared

Daily Gratitude Year Four-Day 327: Today, I am grateful for the story of a life saved. It still speaks to my soul. (Text my journal prompt #22: What story are you most grateful for?)

My Grandpa Lindgren was my favorite storyteller. He made the wild and crazy things that happened to him seem so... well... normal. He loved to weave share the stories of times he was protected by heavenly hands. As a child, hearing the him tell it, the thought of angels protecting us became a bit common place in my youthful mind. Perhaps, I am still not thoughtful enough to entertain angels. 

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." - Hebrews 13:2

Grandpa Isaac "Harry" Lindgren was a manager at a gas station in Kankakee... until he had the chance to buy it (One man caught cheating became Grandpa's opportunity to buy the station, but that is another story.) It was during the Great Depression and Grandpa did very well in a time that many struggled, due to his conservative ways and hard work ethic. He had the first 24 hour gas station in Kankakee. 

He longed to own land and farm, but he wanted to save up plenty so he was ready when opportunity came. He had a good business in the heart of Kankakee. The hired man was Dickie... I think Dickie Young. They worked the station and Grandpa took the late shifts.

One day, Grandpa arrived at the station as they were being robbed. The men were armed and they took the cash from the register. They wanted Grandpa to take them somewhere in the car... I believe it was a Studebaker. Grandpa knew they would kill him and take the car. So... when opportunity arose... he and Dickie did their best to escape. 

Dickie was shot in the leg, and was crippled for life. They aimed the same gun at Grandpa. The one that had already shot Dickie. It was aimed at his chest. The shot was clear. The gun misfired and Grandpa escaped death. Tell me there wasn't an angel involved! I won't ever believe it. 

We have a CD of Grandpa telling the story (thanksto Matt). I need to listen again, but the thing I am sure of is that the gun worked fine... and then it didn't. 

Shortly after, Grandma Mabel told Grandpa they were making a move and she gave her blessing and support to the purchase of the farm in Clifton we know as "The Homeplace". He has saved well and they were ready. God opened the doors. 

Obviously, my life would be very different if Grandpa had died that day. Dad was born in the house in Kankakee, but they moved to Clifton early enough that he has no memories of that house. Coincidentally, my cousin Harry and his wife are blessed to live in the house my Grandfather built. I love that the legacy of it. 

I have so many stories... but this one is rich in the reminder that God's hand can and does move boldly. The gun only misfired once and then worked fine. An angel intervention sent from God's hand.

Grandpa lived until 96. I thank God for this faith, wisdom, work ethic, storytelling and love for people. A handsome bald guy with beautiful blue eyes... and one of the first "great loves" of my life. We were always safe in Grandpas hands.  

As Grandpa came to a deeper faith in Christ, the patchwork quilt of his life's chapters became more of a work of art from God's heart. A moment of this and a season of that...some colorful and others dull and hard work. It all fit together into something beautiful. 

God can do that with the scraps of our life, when we offer it to His hand in faith. He makes the mismatched pieces into something more than we could have ever imagined. 

Grandpa bought his farm.
He raised his sons to love the land.
He nurtured his grandchildren until his last breath.
He was a good and faithful servant. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Today, I am grateful for the story of a life saved. 

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