Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I've been meaning to post about my grandpa for almost 5 months now.
Not with the anticipation that he'd ever read it, because its too late for that now, but just as a wonderful illustration of life and hope...

In case you'd like to read the whole thing, here's a link to the Obituary, the following are exerts to help me illustrate...

Mr. Robert E. Kleinschmidt
Saginaw, Michigan
March 16, 1931 - January 30, 2009

Robert E. Kleinschmidt passed away Friday, January 30, 2009, at his home with his family surrounding him. He was the only child of Earl C. and Esther (Beuthin) Kleinschmidt. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Court and Bond. He attended Herig School and St. Paul’s Lutheran School. He graduated from Arthur Hill Trade School in 1948 and worked as a draftsman at Michigan Bell until entering the Army. He served in the 5th AAA Battalion, Wiesbaden, Germany. Prior to his retirement, he was employed at Baker Perkins, General Motors - Plant One, and Saginaw Steering Gear. Surviving him is Louise, his wife of 57 years; his children...; his grandchildren, who made Papa so very proud...; great-grandchildren...; several sisters-in-law, many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family wishes to thank Covenant - VNA/Hospice for the special loving care given to Robert by Jennifer, Barb, Barry, and Pat.

Memorial service will take place 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church...

As I thought about my grandfather's life in all the driving back and forth to Michigan, I realized again something that I'd always known but never fully formulated; Papa was a 'normal guy'.

When you thought of him, there wasn't usually one particular story that cropped up, there wasn't one huge over-riding feature of who he was that overshadowed everything else, he simply lived his life as a hard working man of God.

He had hobbies and passions to be sure, it wasn't that his life was dull by any means! There was the weekly (sometimes more often) golf games and league. There was the woodworking shop he had in the basement. There were the antiques that he collected and sold. There was often a beer in the hand and a smile ready to be shown just behind what sometimes seemed like a gruff exterior.

Papa did what a man was supposed to do, and he did it well.

He loved his family

He took care and concern when he could

He was someone who could be relied upon

He worshiped and believed!

And though there might not be anything unusual or worthy of a Hollywood docu-drama about his life, in many ways that's a bigger credit to him than anything else! Because life shouldn't be about drama, life is about being loved by God, living in His grace, and sharing that commitment that Christ showed us by being committed, loving and serving your family, friends and church wherever possible.

I think that this is why there's that mention of special thanks to the people at the VNA (Visiting Nurses Association) in the obituary. My Grandma was at the end of her rope in trying to care for and show concern for Papa toward the end; and though these nurses and attendants would likely tell you that they were just doing their job, THAT is where the really extrordinary things of our world happen. When humanity treats one another in the manner that God intended - those moments of "just doing our job" suddenly become some of the most meaningful guestures in the lives of the people we serve.

That's how it was for Christ.

Jesus, when you think about it, what "just doing His job" when it comes to the extraordinary event of saving the world from sin. As He approached Calvary He showed a commitment, a love and a servant's heart that made it possible for us to not be quite as sad as we mourn the loss of a loved one... to not weep without the ability to smile amidst the pain... to know that we need not worry about how wonderful or flashy our lives looked - but instead rely upon His life and what a wonderful thing THAT was for the sake of His family, whom He loved!

1 comment:

Jon and Lani said...

Matt, I didn't know you lost your grandpa. I'm sorry to hear about that. Thanks for the wonderful reflection on his life. Well said!

The White Pigeon Hope - Seeking to "Normalize" the work of the Holy Spirit since 2008.