Arthur Petry was my maternal grandfather. Grandpa worked most of his life at Dairy Maid Creamery in Greenville. After he retired he raised a few animals and farmed some ground outside of Hollansburg. I used to love to go the farm. For a young boy it was full of adventures and activities. Grandpa also had a garden and a woodworking shop with some really cool woodworking tools. He could do a lot of things well, like the aforementioned items, and perhaps one of his greatest talents, playing cards. He is one of my heroes.
Over the past 6 months I’ve been reminded of my Grandpa on several occasions. Last fall as we cleaned out my parents home, we came across multiple items that were made by Grandpa Petry. In September, when we were moving my parents into the Brethren Retirement Community, where my Grandpa lived the final years of his life, an employee shared some fond memories they had of my grandpa. Finally, early in February, at the church leadership seminar we hosted, I came into contact with some people who knew Grandpa from many years ago. They attended the same church together and served together. They too shared some fond memories. I am grateful for these memories that I have and those that were shared with me. Gifts from the Lord!
Of all the memories that I have and that have been shared with me, there is one thing that stands out. He was a gentle man. Gentleness is described in one dictionary of biblical theology as “Sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love.” That was my grandpa. His disposition and his kindness, all motivated by love. I watched it demonstrated with his adult kids, his many grandchildren (including me) and with my grandma. This strength far outweighed all of his other talents and gifts.
I know grandpa wasn’t perfect. He had his faults and I’m sure he got angry, even though I don’t remember seeing it. However, gentleness is the one word I would use to describe my grandpa. It was the legacy that he left me. I believe he learned it from his relationship with Jesus, “who is humble and gentle at heart”. It is a fruit of the Spirit held high in the Kingdom of God. Consider the words of Paul below and think about how you, this day, can walk in gentleness.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
Thank you Lord, for teaching me, even years after his death, of the difference one man can make by living like Jesus.
Take care of yourself and take care of one another!
Happening This Week
Thursday, April 2 – (6:30-7:30) REFIT® – Hosted by Brandie Back. Click here to participate.
Friday, April 3 – Movie Night Ideas & Lessons – Access at eatoncommunitychurch.org
Sunday, April 5 – Sunday Morning Worship – Access at eatoncommunitychurch.org