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By Bryan Clarke

My Opa (Grandpa) a GraceFinder

The last few weeks have been very challenging as I watched the body of my Opa lowered into the ground. He was 92 and his last words were "I want to be with God". I wasn't necessarily surprised by his dying and I had known his health was up and down, yet it is never easy to hear those words on the phone that your loved one has gone to his Maker. Swimming every day except Sunday for 30+ years kept his heart strong, but no one can live forever on this earth. I have been thinking much of this man who was a spiritual father to me in so many ways, and was one of the two most respected men that my own father has ever met. This says so much to me and the words I heard from people during the viewing were also very encouraging.
One statement stands out very clearly and will remain with me all my days. While paying his respects, a man from down Opa's street pulled my head close and whispered to me that my Opa many years ago had seen him cutting his grass on Sunday. In his own direct way my Opa came over and asked him if he wouldn't mind not cutting his grass on the Lord's day. Now some reading this have their own views as to why he said this and whether it was even what he should have said and yet here was the man's response: "I didn't cut my lawn again on a Sunday." I asked, "Was my Opa gracious in how he said this?" "So very gracious and so I decided not to do it anymore." My Opa was a GraceFinder... !!
What an encouragement for me as I realized how gracious he was even on a touchy issue like this and although I know my Opa had his moments, even with me as a teen, he stood out as a Christian who was willing to believe something and yet with "gentleness and respect". Could I be even one tenth of what my Opa was... I will always remember him as a GraceFinder and will be my ongoing commitment in his memory.

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