Four years after my mother was born, my grandmother and grandfather, world revolving
around their precious sunshine, brought forth
my Uncle Billy. If truth be known, they had not planned on a second child. Had been quite
content with their lovely Lucy, who had been the perfect
child. "How do you follow up on perfection?" was
one of Grandpa's most frequent one-liners. Then
with eyebrows raised, he would smile winsomely
at the love of his life and Grandma would blush in her most dutiful way.
Grandma told me often of her life. Life before Grandpa, life after Grandpa was how she
divided her life into past and present. Never
future because as far as she was concerned their
future was their present. Nothing but death could
separate them; and then only for a little while.
Not only looking forward to each day together,
they yearned for eternity with Christ, Heaven, and each other.
I loved to listen to Grandma. She was like a
mother, sister, best friend all wrapped into one.
She had the gift of storytelling and a life so
chalk full of experiences having lived through
the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, and
Vietnam. The world and its people were her business not because she was a busybody, but
because she was a prayer warrior. She prayed in
and out of season, a discipline that had brought
great peace to her life.
And so the stories flowed out of her and the quilt that her stories made covered my life like a
down comforter. And prepared my heart for my Uncle Billy.
Uncle Billy is my hero. What else is their
to say? Born again to a vibrant life in Christ,
he is one of the happiest people I know. And
most thankful. He is extermely thankful for his mother and father. Likewise to be my uncle. He is
thankful for his guitar and his car. The guitar he uses to write songs. The car he uses to travel to
places where he can sing them. He is thankful for his call as an evangelist. He is thankful for
every life that turns to Christ at his concerts.
With a mom and pop like Grandma and Grandpa, an
ability to write, play, and sing for the Lord, and an ability to tell others of Jesus and his love,
Uncle Billy's teapot of happiness is full and boiling furiously. It fairly sings and never
lets up. His boundless joy is why I want to be like Uncle Billy.
Uncle Billy loves to fish. He's good at it too. Grandpa was the master outdoorsman. Hunting
and fishing neither held much mystery for him and
he had passed his prowess on to his son. Uncle
Billy, in turn, was passing the family secret on to me. We had just settled in and were ready to
Not one to beat around the bush concerning
the soul, Uncle Billy got right to the point.
"Have you given your heart to Jesus, Luke?"
The question dropped like a bombshell on the
tranquility of the lake, causing my face to flame
crimson and my heart to reach warp speed. I hadn't, much as I'd thought about it and I wasn't
sure how he would respond when I made this confession. I thought that maybe I could stall him real quick and do it, but I knew it wouldn't be honest and one thing I always wanted to be with
Uncle Billy was honest. So I allowed that I
hadn't...yet, and then with God's word and the prayer of repentance, I did.
With tears streaming down my face, I said,
"Thank you, Uncle Billy! Thank you. Thank you."
Oh the warmth and joy that flooded my soul. I now
belong to Jesus. And never more glad of anything
in my life.
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