Granddaddy’s eyesight was in decline by the time I was born. Maybe it had something to do with the dim lantern by which he read in his early years. With only an eighth-grade education, Granddaddy’s love of books preceded the arrival of electricity to his dugout.
Because I was born late into my parent’s marriage, my granddaddy always seemed old to me. I remember sitting at our antique dining table watching him scoop sugar into his tea. Three times, he shakily neared his tumbler, and three times poured sugar directly onto the table. My mother scolded that I should have let him know he was missing his glass. But, I loved Granddaddy and didn’t want to embarrass him. I would have let him put the whole bag of Imperial Cane on the tablecloth before telling him why his tea wasn’t sweet.
When I came home from college sporting my freshman fifteen, I especially looked forward to visiting my granddaddy. Because of his dimming vision, he couldn’t give me the “you’ve-packed-on-the-pounds-look” like everyone else did. Yet, something about backlighting and his loving embrace found me out. “See you been eatin’ good,” he said, with a twinkle in his eyes.
The more I understood Granddaddy, the more I loved him.
He was a man whose foresight of youth had seen the beauty of a young widow and wooed her with handwritten prose to become his wife. My grandparents lived together almost seventy years, giving their seven children and ten grandchildren a living example of steadfast faithfulness.
He was a man whose hindsight made him a ninety-seven-year-old celebrity in my hometown. “I’ve been here since the sun was about the size of a quarter and there wasn’t any moon,” he loved to say. Granddaddy stayed young by homespun humor and a quick wit. “If it wasn’t for my eyes, I’d pass for twenty-five,” he often quipped.
He was a man whose insight saw the joy of capturing the moment, including one very memorable joy-ride I shared with him across a furrowed field. I don’t know if he even cared that he had missed the turn row, so we bumped and jostled till we both laughed out loud.
My granddaddy gave me broad shoulders on which to stand and view the world. He taught me that despite failing eyesight, one can look at unseen things and truly enjoy life. As I look back upon his past, I find a pathway for my future, an avenue urging me into a hope beyond what my physical eyes can see. I discern a man whose vision encouraged coming generations to approach the invisible throne boldly and therein glimpse peace.
Maybe my granddaddy wasn’t so blind after all.
My grandparents (1952).
There are two states of mind.
The first are “like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied” (Isaiah 56:11 NLT).
The second is satisfied from the first moment of their waking (Psalm 17:15).
The first eats more, drinks more, and buys more, but can never be fulfilled.
The second eats less, drinks less and buys less, but never has a lack (Psalm 34:10).
Which are you?
Within lies a secret. A simple secret which all too few experience.
It doesn’t depend on being in the midst of plenty.
“The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing” (Ecclesiastes 1:8).
It doesn’t rely on an abundance of cash.
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income.It doesn’t lie in a life void of pain” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
It doesn’t even hinge on being pain-free.
“The afflicted will eat and (are) satisfied” (Psalm 22:26).
Gratification depends on what you stare at.
Where is your focus?
Are you near-sighted
The near-sighted mind focuses his eye on resources — that which he can feel, see and touch (1 John 2:15-16).
The far-sighted mind adapts his eye on revelation — that which is eternal and prepared especially for his soul (2 Corinthians 4:18).
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God…Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit…For those who are according…to the Spirit (set their minds on) the things of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:12,9-10; Romans 8:5).
May it be, Lord, may it be.
Above photo by Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram!