“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV
“I suggest you get here before the end of the week…”
My grandfather had been battling pulmonary fibrosis for several years. So I knew this phone call was inevitable and I was somewhat prepared for it. However, nothing could have ever fully prepared me for the flood of emotions I felt when I actually heard those words from my mom.
My grandfather was an extremely intelligent man. He had a very successful career as an attorney, highly respected by all who knew him and worked with him. He prided himself on providing for his family and taking care of those in need. But despite all of his success and accolades, he struggled with interpersonal relationships. Mostly with forgiveness, it seemed. I’m not sure if it was the struggle to forgive others or the struggle to forgive himself that challenged him the most.
I made arrangements with my sister who lived nearby to travel to see our grandfather the next day. Then, I cried and prayed, asking God to tell me what He wanted me to say to my grandfather when I saw him for what would most likely be the last time. As a former accomplished trial lawyer, my grandfather wasn’t the easiest person to convince, so I was hesitant to hear God’s answer.
To my surprise, over and over, God kept telling me to simply tell my grandfather how much he is loved. And then, God comforted me and gave me peace that He would take care of the rest.
My sister and I made the trip the following day to see him. We were blessed to be able to have some time for just the three of us to talk and be together. We both thanked him for being a good grandfather. We thanked him for the fun times and for the times he supported us through difficult situations.
But then, seemingly out of nowhere, the conversation took a turn. My grandfather turned to me and asked me if I knew the story from the Bible about the woman who was about to be stoned.
I said yes and then he proceeded to tell me the story anyway. But then, he stopped at the part in chapter 8 of John when Jesus said, “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Unsure of what he was trying to tell me, I responded by asking him if he knew the rest of the story. He just looked at me, puzzled.
I went on to tell him that after Jesus made that statement and her accusers had left, Jesus asked the woman if anyone had condemned her. And then, I shared with him that what happened next is perhaps the most important part of the story. I told him that Jesus declared to the woman, “Then neither do I condemn you, go now and leave your life of sin.”
Again, my grandfather just looked at me. A few seconds later, he just changed the subject.
I don’t know what my grandfather took from our conversation that day, but I undoubtedly believe that God handled the rest. My mind could never have fathomed a more beautiful way to tell my grandfather how much God loves him.
God doesn’t expect us to come up with a plan or have all of the right words to say. He simply asks us to follow His gentle leading, love those He places around us, and trust Him to handle the rest.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us in the most beautiful ways. Thank you for knowing and fulfilling the desires of our hearts. Help us keep our minds and hearts open to Your will and Your plan for our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright Lara Busold.
Lara is an Assistant Editorial Manager for Teachers of Vision magazine and a Communications Editor for Christian Educators.