Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (11/21/13)
TITLE: Anointed Laughter
By Jeff Lockshin
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From him, I inherited the gift of laughter. Not a benign chuckle mind you, but a raging river of tears, nasal fluid outpouring of volcanic hysteria. If an object or subject struck a binding cord of amusement, we often became dueling laughers; our bellow’s trumping each other until we might rest a beat or two settling into a gentle giggle, which served only as a prelude to the next round of hilarity. However, because sobriety and morality were equal in aspect to my grandfather’s humorous disposition; the source of our laughter was never ribald and never disparaging towards another soul.
Within a few short years my sweet mother married again a fine man, who well assumed his post as step-father to his new eight year-old stepson. Commencing life together, we moved several townships away from my grandfather’s home. Thereafter we visited him periodically, but never frequently enough for me. I missed him to tears, some birthed of sorrow, and other’s born of a recollection of our former hysterics.
More years passed. Life happened as it does. I was married with children and labored within a busy profession while my grandfather was retired keeping busy with his peers at the senior club. Still with childish excitement, I cherished our brief visits, thrilled that I could be five once again, and of course, the laughter. When I told him I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, he was happy for me because he noticed I seemed happy. He being a non –practicing Jew as well as uneducated in Judaism I could not cite scriptures or argue doctrine with him. Neither could I ignite in him any fervor for the spiritual life, moreover for his salvation. Simply, he was as always a happy man. Nevertheless he was neither hot nor cold, but distinctively lukewarm for God. Perish the thought of him being spewed out of God’s mouth. Lukewarm souls are the toughest to save.
Well into his eighties his health failed, and there was no recourse but to enroll him in a nursing home. Caring and compassionate, until you sign your loved one over to be devoured by the pack; those wolves in sheep’s clothing couldn’t wait to get their paws on Grandpa’s social security check and bank account. However, powerfully overriding my sense of disgust with these lupine bloodsuckers was an urgent gut alarm that Grandpa needed salvation and he needed it now!
Living on the rim of gluttony for years, fasting was not a common ritual for me. But for him I partook of no sustenance and prayed long preparing for what the Holy Spirit indicated to me was an upcoming critical visit. During the twenty minute drive to the “wolf den” I sang repeatedly aloud in my car a portion of Psalm 144 “Blessed is the lord my soul that teacheth my hands to war.” The battle for a soul was underway.
The glimmer of a smile, his prelude to laughter I so well recognized was on his face. I noted his crow’s feet, indicators of his life of laughter now so deeply entrenched they were more like eagle’s claws. We walked about the nursing home grounds talking much, but saying very little. The Holy Spirit had me listen more than speak. As with Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, doing and saying only what he saw and heard the Father do and say.
About to re-enter the home he stared at me with tearful yet smiling eyes and whispered, “Anointed.” I was shocked; not believing the word anointed was within his vocabulary. It was clear, The Lord and His Anointing had come.
“Now,” the Holy Spirit prompted.
“Would you like to accept Jesus as your Savior? Those smiling eyes nodded, and so we repeated the sinner’s prayer!!
Branded in my memory are the first and final moments our souls touched as believers. God’s mercy saw to it Grandpa’s days at the wolf den were brief. Two days later he went to glory. Upon learning the news I realized the impact of joyful heartbreak. These combined emotions created a deep and enduring effect, but will never overbear the memory of anointed laughter.
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