Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It has been about a year since the death of Mr. Arnold Grady, the father of a childhood friend and a member of the church I attended from infancy until I married. At the time of his death, Mr. Grady and his wife were residents at Provisions Living, the Hattiesburg, MS, retirement community where my mother lives.

Mr. Grady’s daughter Pattie and I were baby boomers. There were so many of us, even for that large church. That meant that Mr. and Mrs. Grady, my parents and the parents of all those other kids around my age added up to a huge group of parents. Even though I took all those caring adults for granted, they had a powerful influence on my life.

None were perfect. But the fact was that they showed up; they brought their kids to church and worshipped with them; they worked as department leaders, Sunday School teachers, choir members and in other positions of responsibility. On top of all that, they planned, executed and chaperoned all the activities that kept us busy and for the most part out of trouble. There were no paid youth directors, just concerned parents and other volunteers.

From their finite store, they invested time and energy to give toddlers through teens opportunities for fun and adventure. Better than any sermon, they showed us that the walk with Christ includes
- laughter,
- fun, even rambunctious fun,
- including others,
- reaching high,
- joyful giving,
- responsibility,
- forgiveness, and
- unconditional love.

Truly my growing up years were filled with blessings thanks to some of the greatest of the greatest generation!


  1. Yes,I guess youth ministers ara a relatively new thing! How blessed you were to have these caring parents, though!

  2. my dad was a baptist minister, but it was my mother that was all of the above, she was just like your friend and she and others like her are the reason i am what i am today.