Humility and prayer. These are the words that, over the last 3 days, I have heard over and over from my parents, cousins, great aunts and uncles…really anyone who met and knew my Grandpa Carman.
He recently passed away and ever since I have had that funny feeling between grief and relief. Grief because of the missing relationship. Whether it was a text reminding me that he loves me or a question about what we are teaching in the student ministry that was followed by immediate excitement and affirmation. Relief because for a long time now his body has not been able to keep up with his spirit.
Humility and prayer. Person after person had a story about my grandpa and how he would show up at the hardest and happiest moments in their lives and most of the time he was praying.
And boy did he pray. He was a pastor after all. From road trips to big life decisions. From meal times to hospital visits. From prayers of thanksgiving to prayers for necessary and urgent healing. This was the way he lived his life. Always inviting God into the center of every moment. Not wanting to move forward into the mundane or miraculous without acknowledging the ever-present God of the universe. He didn’t just believe that his words had power, he believed the God he was speaking to did. He wanted to pay attention to God.
Even in his last month of life, struggling after some surgeries, the words mumbled day and night were prayers. Prayers for every person he knew by name. Prayers for his children and grandchildren. Prayers for people he pastored decades ago. It was the language he spoke.
But I don’t write all this to glorify my grandpa. Don’t forget humility. I write all of this to express the great conviction he lived with: God is worthy of every ounce of our lives. Or as Romans says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) He is worthy of our prayers. He is worthy of our service. He is worthy of our time. He is worthy.
I only call these things out in my grandpa’s life because they remind me of a man that I have read about. A man who, unlike my grandpa, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)
The mere glimpses that my grandpa lived out in his life are just that. His adoration for and obedience to Jesus helped a granddaughter see a clearer picture of the Son.
I am grateful for the way my Grandpa followed Jesus but if that is all I was I would be missing out on the truest treasure it is to know Jesus and follow him for myself. That I might come to pay attention to him in the mundane and the miraculous as well.