Receiving the "Ouch"

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Sometimes we receive the “ouch” – but in so doing, we give others the privilege of experiencing something they would not have otherwise enjoyed.

Last fall, my grandfather, Mario Lucio Hoover, passed away. He literally “walked into glory,” as my dad put it. One minute he was walking down the hall of his Florida home; the next minute he was gone.

Because of another family circumstance, my wife and kids wouldn't be able to attend his funeral. I would be traveling alone.

Unfortunately, due to a major flight delay, I had to make the very difficult decision to miss my grandfather’s funeral. I called the rest of my family members, who were already in Florida, and broke the news. We were all heartbroken.

Soon came a flood of texts, e-mails and Facebook messages from my family in Florida. While I was sorely missed, they said, there were greater events at work.

One of those emails came from my Uncle Rick, who passed along a Bible verse:

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield …” (James 3:17, NRSV).

Rick later informed me that my absence had opened the door for a colleague of my grandfather’s to take my place as a pallbearer. This gentleman had connections to my grandfather’s work (and his ancestry) in the country of Chile, and thus would fill an important role in carrying my grandfather’s body to its final resting spot. The colleague’s presence completed a circle of influence from my grandfather’s life.

Perhaps my missing the flight was all part of the Lord’s plan to knit together a gift of honor for my grandfather’s life.

Frankly, being “willing to yield” is the last thing I want to do when I’m denied time with my family in their hour of great need. No, I’d much rather go down kicking and screaming and losing every bit of dignity that I have.

But, as Uncle Rick put it, sometimes we receive the “ouch” – but in so doing, we give others the privilege of experiencing something they would not have enjoyed otherwise.



Contributed by Sam Hoover   

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