Sunday, November 05, 2006

Remembering


He passed away in June, but I just found out tonight. Grandpa Dick, as we called him, was a permanent fixture at Bethany College of Missions, where my family lived for two years. His pockets always jingled with the change he carried around for the kids of Bethany. After getting hugged/tickled, there would be a quarter or dime waiting for you, accompanied by the ever present smile. Out of all the adults I knew at Bethany, he was my hands down favorite.

After my family moved to Washington, he would write us letters, and always included a special note just for me. I have a sudden urge to dig those letters up now. The letters faded off as the years went by, especially after Grandpa Dick entered a nursing home.

I remember one Christmas--I believe it was 1997--where he sent me a small painting he did of a cardinal. I've put it out every Christmas since then, and every year when I unwrapped it, I was reminded of Grandpa Dick. I know that when I unwrap it this year, the memories will be a bit stronger, and perhaps be accompanied by some tears (much like the ones accompanying this post), but I will do it knowing that one day, I'll see Grandpa Dick again. His pockets won't jingle with change, but he'll still be smiling, and so will I.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Mentoring

I've heard a lot about mentoring, especially in the last couple years--I go to a school that wholeheartedly believes in the concept. Getting a mentor was always something I wanted to do...someday. Finally, after Spiritual Emphasis Week this year, I got one. My mentor is amazing, and I wish we had done this sooner.
When we first met, she asked me what I wanted to get out of a mentoring relationship--I told her that I wanted someone who had 'gone before me,' so to speak, and could advise and counsel me. Though my mom is amazing, she is also 2300 miles away, and I believe mentoring needs to be done face-to-face.
There's a quote from Elisabeth Elliot about this topic/Titus 2:3-5 that I found on girltalk and really like:

“It would help younger women to know there are a few listening ears when they don't know what to do with an uncommunicative husband, a 25-pound turkey, or a two-year-old's tantrum.

It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul had in mind Bible classes or seminars or books when he spoke of teaching younger women. He meant the simple things, the everyday example, the willingness to take time from one’s own concerns to pray with the anxious mother, to walk with her the way of the cross--with its tremendous demands of patience, selflessness, lovingkindness--and to show her, in the ordinariness of Monday through Saturday, how to keep a quiet heart.

These lessons will come perhaps most convincingly through rocking a baby, doing some mending, cooking a supper, or cleaning a refrigerator. Through such an example, one young woman--single or married, Christian or not--may glimpse the mystery of charity and the glory of womanhood.”

We see many examples of mentoring in the Bible--Paul and Timothy is probably the best, but Mary and Elizabeth are also good examples. I think the sign for this in ASL encapsulates the meaning of the word. In ASL, two hands (representing people) show that one person is right behind the other. (Grr at trying to explain a visual language in writing.) It's having that support to lean back on that Christ calls us to have as "God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved." (Col. 3:12)
There is so much wisdom to be gained from those who have gone ahead of us; we can't let it go to waste.