By: Tim Sader
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. (Proverbs 22:9)
Grandpa Bob shared his faith with generations after him by the way he lived his life. My other grandparents, Ernie and Fern Sader were also important in making me the person I am today. It was unfortunate that I was around them less because they lived six hours away. They came to visit us periodically and we would visit them during alternating holidays. When I was very young my grandparents lived in the country and had a vegetable garden. It was a one acre garden Grandpa took care of; it produced a lot of the food they ate. Sometimes after cutting grass he would give me rides around the yard on the riding lawn mower. As they got older they moved out of their house into an apartment and then a senior community. When I was old enough I would stay with them for a few weeks during summer vacation. A few years I stayed with them alone and one year my younger brother came with me. I did this for three or four summers until my care was too much for them at their age. Summers with them were fun, some moments were boring but I really felt like this brought us closer than before. I learned some fun stuff that retired age people get to do. I learned about cooking, sewing on plastic canvas and knitting while watching gameshows, the news and golden girls. I heard stories about their large families, my dad, his sisters and the price changes of things in their lifetime. They showed me off at the senior center; I went with them shopping, to bingo, Catholic mass and confession. While with them I was able to spend time with my cousins, aunts and uncles that lived near them. One summer I went with them, Aunt Judy, Uncle Jim and my cousin Bob to their vacation home in the town where my grandparents used to live. We had fun at the lake swimming, boating and cooking out on the grill. Those summers were some of my favorite memories of grandpa and grandma Sader though they were blessed with a long life well into my adulthood.
One summer with my grandparents there was a severe drought in Wisconsin and it was the first time I remember feeling temperatures over 100 degrees. Just as high temperatures feel overbearing and heavy upon us so does the weight of sin. My grandparents were devout Catholics so while I was with them I got a new perspective on sin and confession. I learned about saying Hail Mary and praying with a rosary to relieve the weightiness of sin (Ps. 32:4-5). Grandpa no longer had a big garden but they had flowers and plants outside and he worked hard to keep them thriving. Though he no longer had a job he showed me what it means to work and do a good job at whatever needed to be done (Prov. 10:5). My Grandparents were active members in the Knights of Columbus and Lions Club so they were devoted to helping others through the church and their civic duties (Gal. 6:10). They were rich in good deeds because they helped the sick, disabled and needy they lent a friendly helping hand to aid others in the community (1 Tim. 6:18-19). One thing I enjoyed doing with grandpa Sader was delivering food to needy people. I learned generosity because they shared food with the poor. They were givers and had lack for nothing. Because they felt blessed they saw to the needs of others by giving of their time, energy and resources (Prov. 28:27). The things my grandparents taught me showed that real treasure and a firm foundation in life comes from devotion to the Lord and how we give Him back to others.
We may not have the same beliefs or live our lives like our parents or grandparents but the wisdom they have gained can teach us valuable lessons. Even if the only lesson we can see is how not to be we must learn from our past to have a better future. If we can see the Lord in past generations we are blessed because of it. Prayers they prayed long ago maybe answered in us and answers to our own prayers maybe answered in what memories remain of them. God is timeless even now He is perfectly weaving together the past, present and future all at once.
Lord I ask that you would give us spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear the messages and lessons that lie in past generations. Help us to be open to learning the lessons of our past so we can have a brighter future. Lord I ask that you would heal relationships between present and former generations so that we can better understand the differences between us. Help us to be open to your forgiveness God and be motivated to do good deeds in the lives of others. Place us on a firm foundation so we may know that our treasure is in you. In Jesus Name, Amen
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16