This is an excerpt from “A Resilient Life”, by Gordon MacDonald. I highly recommend this book.
Occasionally I have written about my grandfather, Thomas MacDonald, among the godliest men I have ever known. In his aging years he had sunk into deep dementia, and he was unable to recognize anyone around him, including those with whom he’d spent his entire life and who faithfully came to see him.
The day of my last visit was unbearably hot and humid. But when I walked into my grandfather’s un-air-conditioned room, he was quietly seated by his bed, dressed in a woolen suit and tie. He was looking out the window with a serene expression on his face. In his lap lay a large opened Bible.
“Granddad!” I greeted him.
“And who are you?” he asked.
I’m your grandson, Gordon. What are you doing here in your suit and tie? It’s too hot to be dressed like that.”
“Oh,” he said, “you always want to be prepared in case the people here would like to read the Bible and have a season of prayer.”
This was my grandfather. There was little, if anything, left of his life. But to these things he would always be true: his love for God, his reverence for the Bible, and his readiness to serve others.
Grandfather was crossing the finish line of life, and he was doing it with a kind of resilience. He was dying as he’d lived: faithful, sacrificial, and calm-spirited.
I realize that if I am to be remembered this way, I must develop these qualities now.