My mind has raced between grief, anger and gratitude over the last week. Much of my life is empty without Emmer. I have reached for the phone more times than I can count just to call and check in. I grieve that I can’t talk to her, I grieve that I can’t bicker with her and that she can’t argue back. I’m mad that she’s gone and that I can’t remind her that it is her shower day or her hair day. I’m angry about the lonely emptiness I feel. I’m thankful for the gracious plenty 97 years she had here and for the amazing health she experienced, almost until the very end.
In January 2007, I walked away from my 12 year career in non-profit ministry because I visited my Grandfather’s grave and I promise you, he spoke to me. In the Lord’s presence, kneeling at his grave marker (call me crazy, I don’t care) an audible voice told me to leave my job and go to my family. It didn’t make any sense to walk away from my job, but with my health failing, and a direct order from above, I obeyed. I could always argue with my Grandmother, but my Grandfather, ah, no. I walked away knowing this was right.
That was 6 years ago. That voice told me that my family needed me more than my career needed me. Hindsight is always 20/20.
I have been desperately seeking for tangible pieces of my grandparents this week, so that I can touch them, smell them, feel them and hear them. I pulled out all of my Grandfather’s Bibles and skimmed through the pages reading his notes. A piece of notebook paper fell out of one of his Bibles and on it were notes in his own handwriting where he was doing his own study in Samuel.
This caught my attention! At the top of the page my Grandfather had written The call of Samuel. Below that he wrote Samuel means “Called by God”. I continued reading through all his notes and then at the bottom in all capital letters he had written READ THE CALLS- when people need us, that can be God’s call to us. Maybe we can serve God best by meeting the needs of other people. “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.” Judging from the quality of my Grandfather’s penmanship, these notes are at least 20 years old. He knew, even then, he knew his own bride would be cared for until she was ready to meet him again in heaven. My name may not be Samuel, but I think I was indeed called by God to fulfill a purpose much bigger than I could have ever understood as I sat in that cemetery 6 years ago.
I’m reminded today of his own life verse
“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Family still knows best.
Copyright © Gatewood Campbell, January 2013