This week was bittersweet for Aaron and I. His grandfather, affectionately known as Papa Sharp, passed away Monday morning. Obviously we grieved the loss of such a great man, but at the same time it did allow us (me, really) to get to meet and know some of his extended family. I wanted to share something that Aaron wrote about his Papa Sharp. Get out the tissues!
A few days ago the angel Michael entered Heaven’s throne room with his head down. He shuffled along doing his duties until finally the Father summoned him to the steps of His grand throne. “What is the matter O mighty warrior? Your face is long and you do not have your usual enthusiasm,” the Almighty asked.
“Well my Lord,” the heavenly being began in an unusually soft tone, “Our beautiful city has developed many problems. Your Son, seated here on your right hand, has tarried His second coming to earth so long that some of the dwelling places He built are in need of repairs. Some other buildings need to be painted, and the pearly gates squeak and do not open well as they should. Our lawnmower is broken yet again and no one here knows how to repair it, and so our beautiful lawns are overgrown.”
The Father could sense how upset His angel was and gesturing toward the Son and the Spirit to circle around He placed His hand on Gabriel’s shoulder and said, “I have known all along that this day would come; do not let it worry you. You see many decades ago I created a man just for this occasion. He grew up working in the fields and playing hooky from school. I gave him a keen mind, made him good with his hands, and he might have been the hardest working creature that I ever created. Some even said that if something could break, he could fix it.”
With that the Son began to speak all the while waving his nail-scarred hands. “I protected him through a dangerous war where many men lost their lives. In fact, one night in particular when he was frozen in a foxhole I changed the course of many bullets to spare his life because he had not yet come to Us. For many years of the man’s life I called to him to come to Me. For a while he resisted. We knew when We created him that he would be someone who was set in his ways, but eventually my grace overwhelmed his legendary stubbornness and He finally came to me.”
The Spirit, seeing an opening as the Son took a breath, now took the lead. “This man Gabriel, he spent many years working for Us on the earth. You may never have heard of Him because he did not preach or do anything that made the newspapers, but his pew at church was always filled and most of what He did for Us was dirty work that many other supposedly righteous people would not even consider doing.”
The Father, by now wearing a tremendous smile, lovingly squeezed his hand on the angel’s shoulder. “As I said We have always known this day is coming. This man has lived a long life. He has seen the next generations of his family take root, but now it is time for him to enter into my rest. Soon he will step through those pearly gates to his new eternal home. He will fix the squeak in the pearly gate, he will repair the dwelling places, and our mower will be operational in no time, better than when it was new. Tell your angels to put on their overalls, and try to keep up with Him, with a glorified body only I knew what he is capable of. He has lived a long and faithful life on earth, but now I have a new mission for him here in my presence.”
And with that God called my grandfather home.