Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Man Of Few Words

This is what I have been thinking about, today...

My Grandpa Black was a missionary. He was born in 1901 so he was already well advanced in years and had numerous great-grandchildren by the time that I was born. He wore a hearing aid and I thought he didn't speak much because he was so old and because he didn't hear well.

I will never forget the day I saw Grandpa with something to say.
My grandparents had 5 boys and enough years had passed... well, the family had taken heart the instruction to be fruitful and multiply. There were a LOT of us. It took a bit of doing to get everyone shushed up even for a prayer so we could start the buffet line... but on that day when Grandpa had something to say... I never saw the like of it.
He didn't say "ahem" or "Everyone gather around now I want to say something." He didn't stand up or flourish his arms like a preacher at a podium. Just where he sat with his back to half the room, he just started talking in his soft voice to the 3 or 4 people who were gathered around him in conversation. Immediately there was a hush, you could feel the room leaning forward to hear what Grandpa had to say.

It was exactly like an EF Hutton commercial.

In later years I learned it was not old age, Grandpa had always been a man of few words or rather a man who deliberately chose his words. That day I learned a lesson that teaches me now from across the years.

When he spoke people listened because from the strength of his character they knew it would be something of worth. Because he spoke seldom there was little doubt that when he chose to speak it would be something worthy of words.
I wish I could call back the words he spoke and the wisdom that he offered... but I will have to be content with the lesson of his example...
Be deliberate not only in what you say, in the choosing of your words, but also in when you choose to speak at all.


Andrea said...

It's interesting that you'd write about Grandpa... I've been thinking about and missing him a LOT recently. He was such a kind man that had so much wisdom. I'd want to ask him what he thought about the things going on in world today. I'd want to find out more about his faith, and ask him the questions I have about mine. To hear him call me, "girlfriend" as he hugged me, just one more time... I can't help but cry a little as I remember that I've got some of the best parts of him still with me in my faith and sense of humor. Thank you boyfriend, I miss u lots! Love, girlfriend

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