Thursday, August 27, 2015. The world lost one of its brightest lights. You may not know him personally, but he shined so brightly that you definitely know his light. It is the very same light that helped illuminate my heart with love. The very love that drives these words to be typed. This very light that shines on through me to all of those I come in contact with. So by the simple fact that you are reading these words, you, too, have been touched by this light.
This light is love. Pure love. Unconditional love. A humble heart passionately in love with his Creator. The world may have seen other men as great as him, but it's definitely never known any greater.
Thursday, August 27, 2015. Robert Thomas. My grandfather. His mission on this earth came to a glorious conclusion. "To God be the glory." That's all he would say. He did his part, and this world will never be the same. He truly turned darkness into light everywhere he walked.
"To God be the glory."
My grandfather baptized me when I was 9 years old. As I came out of the water, I heard a still, small voice within me whisper, "Go to all the nations, make disciples....teaching my commandments...." Matthew 28:19-20. Right in Kennett Square, PA. The town at the center of the route from one Peter Christopher Drive to the other.
I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to see him the last weekend he was with us. I was the last grandchild to see him. He told everyone he was just waiting to see me. When I arrived at his house I noticed a calendar tossed onto his kitchen counter. It was open to the month of January 2015. There was a Bible verse on the calendar. Matthew 28:19-20. "Go to all the nations, make disciples...."
His final instructions to me were to "Be a man of the Word." I will always honor this. And as I scour the words of Christ, looking for His commandments that I've been instructed to teach, I only come across one commandment: Love.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself." - Luke 10:27
"This is my commandment: that you love one another just as I have loved you." John 15:12
And so, I carry on his mission the only way I know how: by being love.
I know where he is now, and I know I'll be reunited with this tremendous spirit one day before I know it. I was blessed to be able to know this day was coming, so nothing has been left unsaid. I laid awake last night, contemplating how it could hurt so much even knowing all that I know. And that's when I realized, his love and light was so strong that his absence from this world is tangible. I'm left with a dark, empty void in my heart, a place reserved especially for this man.
This is the lesson I've learned through the temporary loss of the most loving person I've ever met. To let my light shine so bright that, when it returns home, those it shined upon feel left in the dark with the absence of my light.
And this is why I write. I've always contemplated my own mortality. I know one day this world will be but an afterthought. But if there's one thing I'm keenly aware of, it's the impact one small act of kindness can have. All it takes is one smile, one "Have a wonderful day!" There's no telling the ripple effect one loving act can have throughout the echoes of eternity. And ultimately, it's not about us as individuals. It's about us as One.
So here I am, G-Pop. Your absence is tangible, but I will carry on your light. I will be love. I will be light. I will make disciples, spreading this light to the deepest, darkest places.
To God be the glory.