Thou wilt shew me the path of life:
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures
for evermore. Psalms 16:11


Saturday, November 25, 2023

Today is the anniversary of the day that my dad's dad died while my dad was in college. It devastated my dad so much that it helped my dad dedicate his life to things of eternal value and real pleasures rather than temporarily valuable things like money and earthly, empty pleasures.

Grandfather, my dad's dad, also set the same example, having the world at his fingertips, but saying no to it and choosing things of eternal value instead.

My grandfather's dad was the captain of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, and Grandfather was a regular chip off the old block, perhaps even better not just as an athlete, but as a scholar, and in almost every kind of way. 

My grandfather graduated from Harvard as one of the top lawyers perhaps in the United States, and he was all set up to marry a rich New York heiress, everything the world had to offer--which is to say, everything except for eternal value and true love.

Two things helped change Grandfather's mind: communism in Russia, China, and around the whole world, and the same thing with a different name in Germany under Hitler.

But Grandfather didn't see those issues as political issues.

Grandfather could see right through the lies about making everything equal for everyone, sharing all the wealth, and making a utopia.

Grandfather could see right through the lies into the eyes...

Into the eyes of the helpless victims of the horror of the Holocaust as they scratched their fingernails off onto the stone walls of the ovens in infinite pain and terror trying to escape from the ovens where they were gassed and burned slowly to death, from infinitely valuable and dear humans into piles of ash...

Into the eyes of the hundreds of millions of helpless victims of the horror of communism, like the thousands of child virgins raped and murdered by Mao Tse Tung, like the mothers whose babies and hearts were eaten out of their bodies by Cambodian Communists in ceremonies to give them more evil strength and more terrifying leadership.

And so Grandfather chose.

Grandfather said no to the dream life in New York.

Grandfather said yes to service as a soldier across the ocean, where his athleticism was forever scarred by weapons of war, and all he got for it was a purple heart.

But my Grandfather found something worth more than being able to score more in church softball for the rest of his life.

He found my Grandmother there in Germany, one of the only two Jews in her generation who had escaped death, living under a false identity, speaking nine languages already at around age 19.

He found out that her father had also sacrificed his athleticism for his country, had sacrificed his seat at the highest levels of Parliament, chair of the finance committee for the entire nation of Germany.

Her father had sacrificed all that rather than turn in his wife and his daughter to the death camps, rather than to even simply divorce his wife and disown his daughter and "not know" what would happen to them, like how the rest of "polite" people in Germany were closing their eyes to the horrors, like how we close our eyes to the horrors of the United States.

Her father had lost all that he owned, like his mansion worth untold millions among the finest estates of Berlin's highest society.

And my Grandfather realized that a person has more value than all the things in the world, and that true love is greater than all, because it is from God.

And after patiently waiting in highest honor for a few short years due to what he perceived as an awkward age difference, and despite the misgivings of his family in the United States who still wanted him to choose the world instead of eternity, he married the girl, my grandmother, the only child of two of the best parents in the world, one of only two survivors in her generation from the Holocaust, and most of all his soulmate and helpmeet and other half.

Then they lived happily ever after raising seven kids in pure joy. My grandfather provided his legal services at the lowest rates and often for free to the poor people in Wichita, to protect them from evil attorneys and corrupt judges, and also mopped floors and ran vending machines to make ends meet.

And at his funeral, so many of the poor people in Wichita attended that the traffic was stopped for over three miles, if I remember correctly, and his mother didn't have to cook a single meal for more than a month, while what felt like the whole city turned out to support his widow and his family.

No one knows why Grandfather died so early, but my dad has expressed the feeling that it was simply another example of how Grandfather was willing to give up his own life if it might help turn someone else's life away from the world and towards eternity, just as it did for my father.

Perhaps God showed Grandfather how that Grandfather's own kids might choose the world instead of eternity if his own kids didn't have something to teach them how worthless and temporary the world is, just like how World War II taught my grandfather the same thing.

And perhaps Grandfather may have replied to God, "Let me be like World War II to my kids, and let me die and go early to you, so that they will learn as well the most important lesson, that things on earth are temporary, but things in Heaven are eternal. Just promise me one thing, that you will always take care of my wife and family."

And then that night, God took Grandfather home, and God always took care of his wife and his family.

  Joseph Myers

Love God

Proverbs 3:5John 14:1John 3:16

God, please help us to have faith no matter how small, and trust in you in our hearts. Help us believe in Jesus who died and paid for our sins so we can be forgiven if we ask you to forgive our sins in the name of Jesus. And thus enter our hearts and help us to grow in love for you.