Thursday, February 19, 2015


On Tuesday, I went over to visit with a family to plan a funeral.

We picked hymns, planned the funeral lunch (they wanted bars, not cake), looked up possible Scripture readings.

His wife and two adults daughters reminisced about their husband and father, a quiet man who was not demonstrative, but clearly well-loved.

"He was not a hugger," they said, "but we knew he loved us."

He worked nights, for Ford, as a maintenance engineer.  He worked for thirty years, and then he retired.  He was retired for longer than he worked, he liked to say.

He could fix anything, they said.  He loved his tools, and to garden, especially roses.

And he loved the neighborhood children.  He would play stickball with them anytime they asked.

Sometimes the children would come over, knock on the door, and say, "Can Glen come out and play?"

Then they told me that he made jewelry, beautiful jewelry out of scraps of hardened paint from the Ford plant where he worked.  The scrap was created because of the way they painted the cars long ago, and how layers of different colors of paint would accumulate.  I'm still not sure I get it, how they explained it.  But they showed me some of the scrap material, and some of the jewelry he made.

And I tell you, I would never have guessed that those beautiful gems were inside of those thrown-away scraps of hardened paint.

But he saw it.  He saw treasure there.

It turns out those scraps are a thing.  They are called "Fordite."  (It is also known as Motor Agate.) You can google it and find out what it is.

It takes a special kind of insight to look at scraps of painted metal and see beauty inside them.

They said he didn't talk about his faith much.  He just lived it.

I can't help thinking that this is one of the ways he lived it.  Looking inside.  Seeing the beauty.

There are many ways to speak about what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus.  Here is one:  to look inside another person, and see the treasure inside.  To be a disciple of Jesus is to learn to recognize the image of God in one another.

Maybe that's why the neighborhood children loved him so much.  It was so simple.  He saw them.

Maybe that's why they stood at the door and asked him, "Can Glen come out and play?"

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