Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I've mentioned my grandpa here quite a few times, most significantly: Gee, Haw!
My, What Good Genes You Have!
It's Over
There's No Good Time to Die

My grandfather was born in 1908 and died in 2006. Many years ago, quite possibly before I was even born, he wrote a sermon in his yellow legal pad. It's full of truth for our world situation today, which is both amazing and a little depressing:

by Furman Lester

I look out the door to my patio and on the rear lawn I see a squirrel, a rabbit, and a red bird, each pursuing its own interests without fear of or aggression towards each other. Why can't the so-called highly civilized human, liberated with his mental and physical superiority, be as liberated from his fears and jealousies? Here is the human developed by adoption and training to live the good life who must still carry his mistrust for his peers beyond that of the simple creatures in my back yard.

In his distrust of others and his fears of their actions he sees a communist behind every bush. Every minority group is regarded with suspicion. Even a different dress code or hair style is enough to close his mind to logical thought. Is there a cure for this type of person that will relieve his illusions with war, that is the murder of countless unknowns?

Sometime he gets confused with issues. On one hand he will march as a Right-to-Lifer for a one day old embryo in a woman's womb. The next day he will vote to cut down on food for innocent living children. Today he says the children must pray in school but tomorrow he doesn't teach them to pray at home. He says Congress prays but he doesn't pray on his job or in his business. Perhaps he doesn't attend worship or even send his children to the church or temple.

Perhaps man has over civilized himself. Sometimes he thinks of his country as great because it makes more autos, appliances, and in general more luxury items than ever before. He tends to leave in obscurity the fact that a man or a nation is great mainly due to his vision, moral integrity, and ability to motivate himself for goals and ideals that can build for all its citizens a safer and more humane environment where hunger is abated, illness is treated, and loneliness and misery are comforted.

Man has polluted the air above, the waters upon the earth, and the land beneath his feet. He has destroyed our national resources of timber, top soil, precious minerals, and has left depots of poison chemicals. He has surrounded himself with garbage and bad by-products of his journey in life.

Why do the little animals live in such harmony with each other (animals usually kill or fight only for food or in some phase of the process of reproduction) when the highest living creatures, mankind, makes such a discord in his existence?

Jesus, the great teacher and center of our faith, taught us love and lived it in example and word. When will man learn to accept this love and share it with all of God's children, his brothers and sisters? When will he rise to the noble part he needs to play in the pattern of life?

I envy the squirrel, the rabbit, and the cardinal.

Liberal. Christian. Kentucky Colonel. Yellow Dog Democrat. Small business owner/sheet metal worker, among other things. He would have turned 100 today.


Jessica said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather - and what an impressive person he was.

Sarahlynn said...

He really was, Jessica. One of a kind. Also, in the end, a cautionary tale.

I wish that I could get to know my grandparents better, as they were when I was young, but with me being a little older and slightly less self-absorbed. They were fascinating people.

Chris said...

Guess insightful writing runs in the family :) Thanks for sharing this; your grandfather gives us a lot to think about.