The Sunday after my birthday, I went to Montgomery to spend some time with my family. I drove over to see Grandbuddy because it had been awhile since I'd seen him. When I first sat down with him to talk, he was asking about my summer and my time in Hong Kong. These general questions led to talking about my decision of school and the transfer to Auburn. Due to the heartbreak I felt he may have for my unpredicted quitting of volleyball, I was hesitant to this subject. However, he suprised me with his support and his encouragement to continue to do what I feel led by the Lord. Some humor aroused in our conversation when we got onto the subject of politics. For anyone who has spoken to Grandbuddy on this election, you know he is completely against OBama. He asked me how in Auburn, Christian students could vote for the anti-Christ. Even though I knew he was being slightly dramatic on this, we cleared it up with the conclusion in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I told him that even if Obama is the anti-Christ, then so be it! For those of us who know the Lord, that means our long awaited face to face introduction to our Savior is one day closer!! Keep in mind, this is Grandbuddy I'm talking to, so politics are a bit of an exaggeration.
This political conclusion opened up the next subject. Grandbuddy wanted to ask me about my Jewish family. He is very interested in mine and Blair's hearts for missions, so he rightly questioned the salvation for the Jews. He was only curious to my opinion. My Grandbuddy truly loves my Nana and Pop. Let me stop here and say something. I am so extremely thankful for all four of my grandparents. It is so uplifting to see their relationship as friends and the love they share. In fact, my Nana used to call Grandbuddy her date because he would pick her up and drive her to my athletic events in high school when my Pop had to work! (Nana is my mom's mother and Grandbuddy is my dad's father haha). I honestly value this quality of a genuine heart that all my grandparents display.
Anyways, Grandbuddy goes on to tell me his knowledge of Abraham and the chosen people in the Bible. This furthered our biblical conversation where I want to stop and add another humorous story. You never know what will come out of this man's mouth about the bible. Grandbuddy asks me, "Have you ever heard that Satan is the father of all lies?" With my nod, he continued, "Yea, well I think he's my grandfather!" He goes on to say, "I mean, that fish that I caught that was this big," his hands measure about the width of his shoulders, "was really only this big," and shortens the distance to about a few inches of space between his hands. He also explained to me that when he tells women they look good, thinner, and attractive, "They just aren't really that pretty to me at all." Of course, me and the other cousins that have returned home after a semester in college, didn't even get the privilege of the lie. Grandbuddy told us straight up what he thought about our weights. But, his concern was that he does lie, and by that- he meant a numerous amount. I honestly don't think he realizes how funny he really is. I mean, he really has convinced himself that Satan could be his father! :-)
The next part of our conversation again dealt with his humor, but also some truth. In reference to the spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8, Grandbuddy asks me, "You know where in the bible, it talks about gifts?" I gently nod for him to Enlighten me with his wisdom. He tells me,"I don't think I got one!" He said his Sunday school class focused on these gifts earlier that day and he was convinced that, "The Good-Lord just didn't give me none of them gifts!" While he is explaining that he can't preach and is not a teacher, and that "None of them healings or tongues can even happen in today's world," I silently praised the Lord that this man wasn't my preacher. He finished however, by telling me that if he has any gift at all, he thinks he has the gift of giving. He expanded his idea with the realization, "I mean I always have given my money away to the church or that St. Jude's place, so I think I'm a giver." Even in this humorous generalization, I started thinking about this, and I believe Grandbuddy is correct. Buddy Brendle is definitely a giver.
What astounds me most about this, is he doesn't even know the depths of his gift the Lord has sent to him. This man gives so much more than money. I have never known a man to support his grandchildren more than my Grandbuddy. Personally for me, he has shown an extreme deal of support in my athletic career. It would be awkward for the old man in the chair not to scream and holler at my ball games. You all know that only God himself would stop Grandbuddy from missing a game. Even though his words were not always affirming, a silent Grandbuddy would be even more strange. And, he isn't just screaming for/at me! I don't know many of my teammates of families of, for that matter, who don't call this man "Grandbuddy." He provided the support of a loving Grandfather to many of us as we grew up. He gives his time, energy, and support to each one of us. A giver- yes, he is!
To sum up this critical meeting I had with my Grandbuddy, I want to end with our conversation about life. "Well Brandy," he said, "I'm getting older and I'm soon to roll over." I quickly interrupted saying, "In that case Grandbuddy, you've been saying that or you've been near to death for ten whole years now..." Turning the conversation back to serious mode, he went on, "No really, I can't seem to think that it is only right to survey my life. I mean, what was my point on Earth, why was I even here, or what did I do significant?" After hearing his explanation to what he thought he had done to this day on Earth, I was really challenged in my own life. None of us are too young to sit down and meditate on this very question. What have I done with my life? Have I made an impact at all on this Earth? Why did God even put me here? And this, is the Point of it all. Every little bit of each of our lives does have a purpose. In fact, Isaiah 43:7 says, "Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." This verse is describing our identity and our purpose. Our sole purpose is to bring glory to our maker by loving the Lord and loving people. Each day, we are challenged to see Him and know Him more. We are to take that very love, that he displayed while hanging on a cross, which is now in each of us, and share it with every human being on the Earth. Grandbuddy, I think you are doing an amazing job. By the love that Jesus Christ has empowered to you, you are using your gifts of giving to share that very love with many others. From children at St. Jude you have never met, people in foreign countries who have been reached due to your financial support to me, Blair, and FBC, to the very individuals who have been coach, cheered on, or influenced by you on athletic grounds. Many of us feel loved by you today. This valuable lifetime we have each been given, matters! Take comfort in the fact that the creator of the universe, sun, moon, emotions, and life in general-loved us enough to send his son to die for us! There is NO greater act of love that can EVER be established. You are so, so incredibly loved! Use that love to impact the world around you. We all need to be loved. No known gift is required for you to do this. All we really have is Jesus, and he's COMPLETELY and SOLELY all we need to make a change in the world today.
See Grandbuddy, even in your gift of giving, you gave me some inspirational advice. The Lord used you this time to preach, teach, and give me some biblical, meaningful, and life-changing words. This is how the Holy Spirit works. God will take what you think is your gift and use it to fulfill all these other gifts. I am so thankful for you and have been touched by this conversation.
General Update on Grandbuddy: Today, Nov. 5- He had surgery to get a pacemaker put in... Surgery went well. Thanks so much for your prayers. Due to his rather clogged lungs, he is still on a ventilator. I think we are just waiting for his lungs are ready to start doing things on their own. I think the big thing now is just praying for those lungs to keep healing. The progress has been good lately! My prayers are centered around his patience and peace as this whole thing starts to aggravate him. I hate not being able to talk to someone I love and to think He can't talk to anyone like he would want to right now just shows me how frustrating this must be for him. Keep him in your prayers... I believe this will eventually all be better and he will be complaining about the government and Auburn/Alabama football in no time :-)