My Grandma had her own way of seeing the world, her own way of seeing me. I remember her as an unassuming woman—not someone you’d call a philosopher—but she carried inside her a powerful, persistent, and positive way of looking at the people around her; and when I was with her, I couldn’t help but see things—see myself—in the same way, through the secret decoder, held up to the light.
My grandfather was a baker–a baker and a deacon. He was many, many wonderful things, but these two roles stand out in my mind. During WWII, he served on a Merchant Marine ship, every day making breads and pies for 80 men. I often imagine my Paw-Paw as a young man, rolling with the seas. What was it like? Were they in danger? He never really talked much about it, and now that he’s gone, I may never learn much more about it.
I’ve always understood the stories of the Bible to be stories of faith, not not stories of history.
There was a third man, who perhaps made many errors in performance but whose effective life was devoted to making men brave and dignified and good in a time when they were poor and frightened and when ugly forces were loose in the world to utilize those fears. This man was hated by the few. When he died the people burst into tears in the streets and their minds wailed, “What can we do now? How can we go on without him?”