Daily Gratitude Year 7 - Day 29: Today, I am grateful for the light that remains.
Over the weekend, we had the privilege of grieving with dear friends as they grieved a beautiful soul that my youngest son called "Papa" along with the rest of his grandchildren. His church family called him "Chef Paul". He was an educator, an innovator, a leader and a man who passionately believed that adults must invest in children. Not just on the surface with great words and cute bulletin boards, but with their time, energy and a piece of their hearts.
I first met Paul when I was married with no children, not long out of college. I remember being impressed with his warm welcome into his school building and that he genuinely cared about what we did as social service providers.Usually, I was greeted by counseling staff or secretaries. Paul always came and said "hello", made sure we had a spot to meet and expressed value in our work. I had know idea that our paths would cross again and neither did he. He was full of life and light.
Rev. Dr. Robert Collins gave the best devotional on this scripture from 2 Kings. It was really short and this scripture is the whole story as it is written. Still, it brought a full reflection on a wonderful life of love and service. Paul leaked Jesus. Even when being firm and leading as a principal must... he was love first. This was the scripture God gave Rev. Collins to help us remember Paul.
Once when some Israelites were burying a man, they spied a band of these raiders. So they hastily threw the corpse into the tomb of Elisha and fled. But as soon as the body touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man revived and jumped to his feet! -2 Kings 13:21
Does it seem an odd choice? After hearing the stories of his life from those who spoke, not at all. He made things better simply be showing up. His life touched others and brought new life and energy.
You see, Paul's love of the Lord and love of people (especially children) brought life to all who knew him. He and Nancy were an example of love and marriage for all who knew them. He loved all children... but his children and grandchildren were his favorites. He smiled when he saw the children he knew in their youth grow to be good men and women.
He lost his eye sight in his last years, but he could still hear the music that meant so much to him for all of his life. Now, he is restored in heaven. I am pretty sure he is dancing, too.
I am grateful for his life. I am honored that he poured light and love into my child.
Today, I am grateful for the light that remains.