Kayci and I drove to Dallas Monday evening. My bro-in-law, Korey, and I were supposed to fly out to California yesterday for the Pepperdine Lectures. Kayci and Truitt were planning on staying with my sis-in-law, Amy, and her two kids.
I received a call from my dad yesterday morning around 9:30 informing me that my grandpa, Papa, passed away early in the morning at the age of 80.
After cancelling my speaking commitments at Pepperdine, we drove over to Decatur where we spent a few hours with my grandmother. I was amazed by the people of the Decatur Church. They brought enough food to feed the entire town. They came and cried, laughed, hugged, and prayed with us. They are a church that knows how to enter into the sufferings of people.
The moment that made me cry was a when a little girl named Ainsley came into the home. She walked over to my mother and said in her little voice, "I'm sorry about your daddy dying." I witnessed the faith of a child.
Papa was a mighty man of God. Though I wasn't alive, the stories of his compassion during the Civil Rights movement makes me proud to be his grandson. He stood up for what was right--not just because he was a good man, but because he was a good man who had been touched by God.
He served as an elder for over 2 decades, always working to move elders from a "board-of-trustees mentality" to embrace the essence of shepherding.
We will miss his humor, his smile, his wisdom, and his presence. But days like this are made okay because we believe that the power of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is still at work today.
My dad and I will perform the celebratory ceremony tomorrow.