Tuesday, April 9, 2013

God Made a Farmer - My Granddaddy

 My Granddaddy was one of the strongest men I ever knew. He loved deeply, worked hard, didn't sellout and was the most un-selfish and humble person I have ever met. He loved Jesus in a quiet way - not a boastful, loud type of love but a gentle "Andrew the disciple" way. He had a book on his nightstand titled, "Jesus in Blue Jeans - A Practical Guide to Everyday Spirituality". He was a simple man in the best sense of the word simple. Simple in that he didn't have all the junk we think we need today (cell phones, computers, internet, and fancy car or house etc.). He had the basics with a few luxuries, such as satellite tv so he could watch Alabama Football in the Fall. :)

It was easier to write about my Granny when she passed away - she had lived a long and good life and was in a lot of discomfort and pain when she passed away. My Granddaddy, however was in the best health to be 72 years old. He kept up cows, gardens, hay fields, heavy tractor equipment and managed to find time to hand craft wooden furniture for his family. I have a porch swing on the front porch in Lawley that he made out of old barn wood for TJ and me. He was always doing something and it was always a worth-while something. He bought a bicycle a few years ago to ride down to the mailbox to get his mail - it has a little wire basket on the front. I thought it seemed out of character for him to be riding a bike but it fit him so well and makes me smile when I see the older looking bikes. I remember him taking my older sister and I to what I think was the first Alabama football game I'd ever been to. It was Homecoming and Alabama was playing Ole Miss - when Eli Manning was the quarterback. I remember because Granddaddy had binoculars and let me use them to watch Eli during his breaks pedal on the stationary bike. :) Something that I had forgotten about until looking through his old albums was that he had a camera that he brought to mine and TJ's wedding to take pictures. While the professional photographer was taking pictures he had been busy snapping away too. The photographer had the umbrella lights set up and for some reason when Granddaddy would snap pictures with his camera the lights would go off. She kind of got aggravated but Granddaddy still took pictures any way. He was so proud of me. He was so proud of all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, even Lucy Paige. He was about to start building Lucy Paige a picnic table set. He was excited for her and I am so sad that she won't get to know him. I'll be able to tell her about him and so will my Momma, but it won't be the same.

He passed away Monday, April 1. I had the opportunity to see him Sunday but didn't take the chance to go see him... I thought I'd have time to see him later - I regret so much not going to see him. And I know people say you can't change the past and what's done is done, but I had an opportunity and didn't take it. Don't let any petty grievances or silly things or you thinking that you'll have time later get in the way. Slow down, take time for people you care about. Life will wait, things will wait.

I know Granddaddy loved Jesus and I have a hope for him. He's in Heaven and I know this because of 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.

Paul Harvey's "God Made a Farmer" Speech

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.

"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.

"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.

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