Like Me

So, he returns. Sorry for the delay, if I am working through things I have much trouble bringing myself to public post.

Why is it, do you think, that we always assume that “right with God” and “like me” are the same thing? My grandfather was not a church-going man, not when I knew him. Pe-Paw had quit going to church years before me because of some shenanigans within the church staff that made him doubt the validity of his church, and every church.

Pe-Paw was certainly different from everyone I knew, or know. He dipped tobacco and smoked (actually chewed) cigars. He drank a little and cussed like a Master sergeant! (which he had been.) He was a rough old cob who like to make dirty jokes (mild) to waitresses and always flirted with all the pretty young things we came in contact with. As he got older, his overalls would be stained with tobacco juice and he usually had some tracks down one side of his mouth or the other.

He loved practically jokes, fried food, and my grandmother, (Me-Maw). He had a fiery temper, much more controlled, I understand, than we he was younger. He could sell anything, or at least try, and had an in house nursery/bait shop. On the side he worked on bank lawns and sold whatever fruit was in season from the back of his truck, this is after he retired from the post office.

One time he dumped a shovel full of elephant crap on my Dad, (long story!). And he always thought I should be a lawyer, he had more respect for those guys than for preachers, I guess, makes sense, considering. He came to church when I had a program, when I was baptized, and I think, the first time I preached, but not much more. Nope, definitely not deacon material………

But.

He loved God and he loved good. He loved people, all of them. the one thing he never talked about was the war, it left an indelible stain on his heart, physically and emotionally. He worked hard, helped the poor; in fact, I never saw him turn anyone away who needed a hand. He was good to his friends and to those who disliked him. He worked to help everyone. he took in my great-grandmother when she could no longer live alone, even though they were like oil and water when they were together. The only video tape I have of him is at my wedding when he introduces my Me-Maw as his “fraulein,” like they were still sixteen.

Some folks reading this would have liked him; some would have tolerated him; some would have been embarrassed by him; some would have wanted anything to do with him. He would have treated you the same no matter what category you came from. Pe-Paw never talked to me about Jesus, although he did talk to a pastor friend of mine before he died and assured him that his relationship was intact; but he lived it. He was different than church-folk. But he knows God.

It’d be hard for some, so-called christians to not judge him. I hope they have to sit by him in Heaven and listen to his salty stories; provided they make it; and provided they are not in my seat.

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4 thoughts on “Like Me

  1. This makes me think of the conversation we were having the other day about the homogeneous image of the church – and why a lot of people, especially in my generation and social culture aren’t interested in church.

    To be honest, I would not even consider the remotest possibility of attending a church if I had to dress any way but comfortable.

    That says nothing of the cost of clothing other than what I have now.

    I’ve always wondered how an institution that says: come be like us or else! got members.

    However, I wonder the same thing about frats all the time.

    I think your grandfather would have been awesome to know. I can definitely see some of his influences in you.

  2. Its sad that your Pe-Paw got hurt they way he did by the “chruch.” But it shows that his Love for God was stronger that this hurt because of the way he loved everyone else and sold his fruit off to all. I’m glad you didn’t become a lawyer =)

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