One of my favorite Bible verses is from Philippians “Finally, beloved, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NRSVA) Every time I read this verse I think about my grandfather.
I’m often finding myself remembering my grandfather who used to sit in his rocking chair in our living room reading his Polish Bible. That’s the only thing he ever read. When he finished it from beginning to end, he would start reading it again. I think that’s what helped him live to the ripe old age of 86.
My grandfather worked diligently in his own garden until two days before he died. We had the best garden in the neighborhood, because of my grandfather’s love and tender care of growing the plants that he had started in our basement under grow lights.
Whenever we had company they would talk to my grandfather about what he read in the Bible and what he was growing in our garden. One day I remember he got into an argument with my mom, his daughter, about gossiping. He heard my mom on the phone with her friend talking about another neighbor across the street from us, and how their yard looked. When we all thought my grandfather couldn’t understand English because he chose to speak in broken English. We were amazed at how much he did understand.
He asked my mom if she knew about what was happening within the four walls our neighbor’s home. My grandfather knew what was happening with each of the neighbors we had because he always shared what we grew with people around us. He asked if there was anything he could do for them. My mom on the other hand thought my grandfather was just a nuisance to people, and felt embarrassed by him.
Back to our neighbors, my grandfather told my mom that the reason their lawn was not kept so nicely was because the man of the house was in an accident at work and couldn’t take care of the lawn. Then my grandfather started talking to my mom, very loudly, in Polish. When they were done with their argument, she called her friend and they put together several baskets of food for the family and we all helped out by taking care of their lawn and other errands that needed to get done.
If we harness our thoughts to thinking about the words of God instead of the mundane words that just flit out of our mouths. We would be able to get over own pride and be like my grandfather who helped anyone and everyone. But in order to think about God’s words we also need to do what my grandfather did, and READ our Bibles.