One of the most influential persons in my life was my grandfather, A.D. Wheat. Today was his birthday. Though he passed away several years ago, there are not many days that pass by in which I don’t think of him and the life he lived in front of me.
One thing that my grandfather always told me was, “You gotta love other people!” But this was more than just something that he talked about it. He lived it!
Before my grandfather passed away, he tape recorded many of his life stories and adventures. Paige, my wife, transcribed them into a book we put together so we could give it to our kids. Below is one of the stories he told. It’s of one of his many visits to those who lived in the nursing home. As I reread this story of his today, I was struck again of how blessed I am that God would put a man such as my grandfather in my life. How blessed I am!
I used to go and visit many of the nursing homes. There was one lady who was in one of them who never smiled. She just looked terrible. The ladies at her table said she was a grouch and to not pay any attention to her. So, I thought, “She’ll be my challenge now!”
I finally got her to where she would let me have her ice cream. We had ice cream socials every Monday at 4pm. I would go over there and she would give me her ice cream Well, the others in the nursing home couldn’t understand it.
One day, my church had some Day Lilies that many people had given to the church in memory of some of their family. The gave them to me to take over to the nursing home. When I went over there, this lady was the only one in the dining area. So, I walked over and put the first Day Lily on her table.
“Who’s this for?” she asked.
“It’s for you,” I said.
“Well, it sure does show that some people love me!”
“Sure, we love you!”
A week or two later, I was back in the nursing home and was told that this lady was really sad because she lost her car due to her driver’s license being taken away. So I went over and began to talk with her.
“Nobody loves me,” she said. “I should just go away and die. I’m no good for anybody.”
“Yes, you are,” I said. “You always save your ice cream for me. I think the world of you.”
And then, I hugged her.
Later on, I was told that I really cheered her up. I really like doing those kind of things.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7-8).