DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Grandparents’ Day teaches us about childlike trust – Park Rapids Enterprise

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Did you know that Sunday is National Grandparents’ Day? I did not know that either. So today I wish to tell you a story of my Grandpa, Julian Norby.

Grandpa passed away way too young. He was born just before 1900 and only lived until he was 62. I remember pictures of all the students in his class who were going to serve in WWI. Grandpa served in the U.S. Navy, and after the war he returned to his home in Barnesville.

Grandpa’s father Ludwig started the Norby Department Store from a railroad car. Grandpa was the oldest of three brothers and a sister. He stayed home to run the store and was twice married.

His first wife, Mildred, was the mother of my uncle and dad. After Mildred died from a heart condition, Julian married Mabel. They had one child, my aunt.

After school, I remember walking to the store and going upstairs to the office. There Grandpa sat and turned his big office chair to greet me. He pulled out a coin purse. It was the kind you squeezed to find the coins. Without fail, he gave me some pennies and I would run down the stairs and cross over the “Standby,” which was a grocery store. There I found the gumball machine and, putting in my penny, I cranked the handle to see a brightly colored treat.

I also remember Grandma Mabel driving their 1957 Buick Roadmaster (Grandpa never drove). That two-toned, black and white car had a bar graph speedometer that bounced from 20 to 40.

Grandpa’s first wife, Mildred, played basketball for Glyndon. When women’s basketball celebrated Title IX, her league was honored. They played club ball in 1919. Mildred returned to Sweden, to the farm where she carved a goodbye in the wall, and it is still there.

After Grandpa’s death, I remember walking to Grandma Mabel’s house on Sunday nights to watch Lawrence Welk. She taught me solitaire, and it was a big deal to win.

Today, I am with my grandson, Logan. He is busy at preschool, and I wonder what he will remember about his “Pop Pop.”

It sure was fun taking him to the school open house. We met his mom, who was coaching eighth grade volleyball. I had flashbacks of joy, remembering our children’s first day.

Our other grandchild is Nicolai, and he is now a mobile 1-year-old, enjoying the art of crawling.

Yes, Sunday is National Grandparent’s Day, and it is also time that churches rally for Sunday School. Such memories help mold the future with the love of Jesus. The process of transformation happens when we gather in the name of our Lord and let the love of our Savior take us into the world of our little ones.

It is no accident that Jesus taught, “Unless you become like a child you cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 18:3). Childlike faith comes from faithful families like yours. Trust in the God we cannot see. That is understood when parents and grandparents faithfully love those who, someday, will have memories that are now only known to God.

Rev. Steve Norby serves as lead pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids.

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