Monday, April 30, 2012

Marc's Old Man

Colossians 4:2-6 (NIV)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
I intended to write my own post today, but then I read a blog post from my friend Marc, my college (and post-college) roommate of about three years. I wrote a column in September shortly after Marc’s father died. I went to the funeral and got a chance to speak with Marc and some of his family, but I never really probed beneath the surface. Obviously the loss was difficult, as would be expected, but I either wasn’t there long enough or didn’t attempt to dig deep. It’s very likely the time wasn’t right.

But today, just a few days after his dad would have turned 65, Marc took to the keyboard and put together words and sentences about his father in a way that affected me deeply. I urge you to read Marc’s post, and to share it with anyone who has seen how a loved one’s dementia can affect an entire family.

This sample, from near the end of the post, reminded me of the passage from the start of Chapter 4 of Colossians:
I hadn’t been out of college very long when Dad was diagnosed with dementia. While I was married and owned my own house and was very much a grownup, I was still really just a kid. Looking back I wish I had spent more time with him during those last years. I feel like I’ve been cheated out of knowing my father from the perspective of another man, rather than just a child. I feel like we would be good friends today.

Much of what’s best in me, I realize now, comes from my Dad. I always try to be friendly and courteous to anyone I meet, and I know he was the same way.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders,” Paul wrote. “Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace.”

What a wonderful lesson from God. What an admirable goal to follow, and what a worthy trait to instill in our children. Bill Kray raised three great sons. And though he was taken far too soon, it’s clear in reading what Marc wrote that Bill made the most of every opportunity to be a good dad. What a wonderful legacy.

A prayer for April 30:

Lord, I thank you for your guidance presented in scripture. I thank you for the presence of good parents in my life and the lives of my dear friends. I know we are not promised tomorrow, and I pray for your guiding hand to lead me through my time on Earth to ensure I am making the most of every opportunity. Amen.

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