Grandma and Grandpa Sayler’s Lasting Gift

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
(2 Timothy 1:5 ESV)

Last night at the Sayler house we had baked potatoes for supper.  We were limited on time and didn’t really want to cook what was on the menu for the evening.  Our options were few, we’re cutting back on eating out, so we decided to have baked potatoes.  Christi got right to work on making the broccoli and cheese topping, while I prepared the potatoes.

As I mentioned we were short on time, so I had to use the microwave.  I forked the potatoes, placed them on the plate, put a steamer lid over them (thank you Tupperware lady) and put them in to cook.  It took 20 minutes on high to cook six potatoes in the microwave, but they were piping hot and ready to go.

Halfway through the meal I thought we might need a couple more baked potatoes in case anyone wanted seconds, so I got up to prepare them.  Then I noticed it: the microwave was dead.  The light wouldn’t come on when I opened the door.  The display panel was blank.  I ran to the basement to check the breaker, everything was still on.  My heart sunk; our microwave was dead.

Now, I’m not one to get too attached to possessions.  We have had the microwave for 16 years, but that’s not why I was sad.  The sad part was it was a gift from my grandparents.

Grandma and Grandpa Sayler weren’t able to come to our wedding.  Christi and I were getting married in Colorado, they lived in Kansas City, and they couldn’t make the trip.  Just a month after the wedding, both were in the hospital.  Grandpa was dying from complications due to Parkinson’s, grandma had the flu.  Christi and I drove up to see them, in fact the whole family was gathered there.  We gathered in their room, said our “goodbyes” to grandpa, prayed and sang. 

In the midst of all this, grandma had one thing on her mind: she just had to give us a check for our wedding gift so we could buy a microwave.  It was what they had decided to give us for our wedding, and she was singularly possessed by her desire to give us a check and to make sure we bought a microwave.  Finally, after much protesting, we graciously took the check and were able to buy the microwave that now sits, overheated, on our kitchen counter.  We said a little thank you to grandma and grandpa every time we used it, now it’s a little sad to see it go.

Still, I have another lasting gift from my grandparents: it is a legacy of faith that they have passed on to me, and I hope to pass on to my children and grandchildren.  Anytime I stop to think about grandma and grandpa Sayler, I recall the devotions before breakfast and supper.  Usually Grandpa read from Guideposts or Our Daily Bread – and as a kid I’d sit through anything just to eat the Cookie Crisp cereal they had bought just for us.  As I grew older, I treasured those moments in devotion and prayer.  If we were ever with Grandma and Grandpa on the weekends, we’d be in church, no excuses.  I remember Grandpa having a heart to heart conversation with me about going to seminary.  (He had been influential in starting a Christian Businessmen’s Ministry to inmates in Kansas City, reaching them with the gospel and training them with job skills, and helping them find work once released – he wanted me to know that I didn’t have to be ordained to be in ministry.)  All in all, I’d say this spiritual influence is a far greater gift from my grandparents than any old appliance – it will surely last longer.

What gift are you passing on to your family?  A lot of the stuff will pass away, but the investment that we make in the hearts of our children and grandchildren is what is lasting.  Pray with and for them.  When they come to visit, bring them to church.  Share your faith with them, let them know what you believe and why.

Psalm 78:5-7 says,

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;

I am thankful that my grandparents and my parents taught me to set my hope in God and not forget His mighty works.  Let us pledge to pass that gift on to the generations that follow.


1 thought on “Grandma and Grandpa Sayler’s Lasting Gift

  1. Ethan,
    I just read your tribute to your grandparents….WOW! What a gift grandparents are from God! I, too, was similarly gifted by mine, not by the check for a microwave, but by the instilling of God’s love for me and how important it is to have a relationship with Him. Those things will truly last, and I feel so awesomely blessed to have been taught this by my grandparents! Thanks for sharing!!!!

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