Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Quiet Man

Lately I have been thinking about my Dad's father.   He passed away when I was seventeen, and although I had known him all that time, I haven't appreciated something wonderful about this quiet man.

I called him Nono, the Italian word for grandfather.  I remember him as someone who sang Italian songs softly, and told the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  I would beg for this story until he would acquiesce, telling it the same way over and over, making his voice sound mean when it came to the part about the troll under the bridge.  I would giggle with delight, only to ask for it one more time.

He was soft spoken, and like most Italian men in those days, drank wine.  He would disappear into his basement and wine cellar, emerging a little worse for wear much later.  I never saw him truly mean, just a bit indifferent.

 Sunday mealtime at my grandparent's house, Nono would be the last one sitting there eating.  He sat at the head of the table, glass of wine before him, telling everyone to eat slowly, slowly.  My cousins and I would race for first place to see who finished their meals the quickest, hoping to get the coveted role of dish washer instead of the lesser role of dish dryer. 

But Nono would still be sitting there, long after the others had cleared the table and gone on to other things people do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, still chewing slowly until he finished every last bite.

Later, he would be sitting in his living room, eyes closed, and lips moving silently.  My mother asked him one time what he was doing.  His answer: "Praying for our family and future generations."

I never realized just how powerful that statement really is.  Praying for future generations.  When I was little, in my own world, there were no thoughts of who would come after me.  Now, with my son twenty- five years old, and my new little niece, four months old, I see just what Nono was doing.  Praying for them.  Praying for their future families as well.

How truly awesome that type of prayer is.  We each have our daily prayers, intercessory, thanksgiving, praise, guidance, help.  But think about it.  We have the power to pray for great- grandchildren we may never know and subsequently, their families, etc.  We have the freedom to ask of our Heavenly Father to touch the lives of those who come after us with His favor and goodness.  The chance for us to pray that they all come to know Him and accept His son as savior.

Next time you are praying, think about those you may not know yet.  Think about your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and cousins.  Say a little prayer for them and their future generations.  It will bless you in a way which can only be how God truly wanted it to be.  Totally selfless and honoring Him.

Thank you Nono for teaching me in your quiet way.  Until we meet again someday.