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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Poor (10/25/04)

TITLE: Faith of a Milkman
By Kristin Slavik
10/26/04

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Poor was never a word he would have used to describe himself. Blessed, he would have said. When my grandfather was a young man working to support his family, he struggled. He had seven children and a wife and they all lived in a two-bedroom house.

Ask anyone in todayís society what having seven children in a two-bedroom house made you. They would probably say poor. I donít think any of his children would have said that they were poor.

My grandfather worked for most of his life as a milkman. A true embodiment of an American era, he would deliver your dairy products right to your door. At that time, locking your doors was unnecessary in the small town in which he lived. He would often walk in and check what was needed and stock the refrigerator accordingly.

When other people in the town were falling on hard times, my grandfather would deliver the milk anyway. He knew he may not get paid, and he knew that it would be deducted from his check, but he would not let anyone go without necessities. He would have said it was just the right thing to do. I marvel at the faith it took to not look at what he was lacking at home, but to look only at what he could do right then.

His faith was reflected in other areas of his life as well. He had a small workshop where he built things and fixed things for others in his town that needed his help. He volunteered at his church and was there when his family needed him. I canít imagine a truer servant for the Lord.

When he got older he still was busy helping others. Maybe that was why he and his wife never left the two-bedroom house. Maybe it was because they never had much and they realized they never needed much.

I did not get to know about this great man until he died. Unfortunately, I was a product of young parents that separated early in my life. I saw him every couple of years, but it was not until his passing that I learned of the amazing spirit behind this seemingly simple man.

His funeral spilled out of the large sanctuary. So many people came to tell their stories of how he had touched them in some way. His generosity and his love had moved them all. His children spoke of his gentleness and his love of fishing. They all had special memories of the time he took with each of them.

He was a war veteran as well and I was touched when he was given a true veteranís send off. My grandmother said he would have been embarrassed by all the fuss. I was honored. This was not the funeral of a poor man, but of a man rich in every way that mattered.


Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 11/01/04
I would have loved to have to met your grandfather - he sounds like such a godly man. Sometimes when you have little, you realise how little others have. You show his compassion very well.
Lucian Thompson11/01/04
Kristin, your granddad reminds me of my deceased dad. They shared the same love for their fellow man and made numerous sacrifices on their behalf, setting the example for the following generations. God bless the legacy he left you.
Mitzi Busby11/01/04
Kristen, A godly heritage is a wonderful blessing. Great entry.
John Hunt11/02/04
Very lovely article. Kind of had a It's a Wonderful Life feel. Nicely done.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/02/04
What a wonderful tribute to your grandfather! I know he would be touched to hear you speak of him like that. Exceptional writing - this piece moved and inspired me. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings, Lynda
darlene hight11/02/04
Great tribute and writing!
Phyllis Inniss 11/03/04
Great tribute to your grandfather. Thank God for such wonderful people and the lives they touch.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/03/04
What a testimony of the impact of "a poor man's life"! I look forward to meeting him at the feet of Jesus some day. I particularly loved the line, "Maybe it was because they never had much and they realized they never needed much." I halfway remember a quote I'm attributing to Abraham Lincoln that comes to mind: "God must love the poor a lot, he made so many of them." Your story helps us see why!

Glenda Lagerstedt11/03/04
Very impressive and inspiring article. You did your grandfather proud.
Norma OGrady11/03/04
I love your title
very good story
norma
Melanie Kerr 11/04/04
What an example to follow! Paul in his letters often says "Immiate me" - your grandfather could have said it too.
Debbie OConnor11/04/04
Just wonderful! Vivid storytelling and a wonderful testimony.
DeAnna Brooks11/05/04
I'm not sure they make them like that any more...but your grandfather truly was rich. And he blessed others with his riches. May we all grab a measure of his richness and pass it on to others.
Rita Garcia11/06/04
Kristin, What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful grandfather, Blessings, Rita