Saturday, September 02, 2006


On my table in my office sits an old pocket watch that belonged to my grandpa Biehl. The story is that he found it one day while working around his farm. It’s nothing special. I don’t remember him ever using it. But I remember seeing it here and there in his house when I was growing up. When grandpa died grandma invited the grandkids to her house to choose some things of grandpas we thought we might like to have. The pocket watch was one of two items I chose that day.

The watch has traveled with me to every ministry setting I have been in. It has made the move from eastern Nebraska to Lincoln, to Albion, to Arizona, and back to Lincoln. I have always known where it is. It’s just one of those things that is always there. It is broken. I don’t use it to tell time, and it is not particularly attractive. For most people it serves no purpose except as a conversation piece. But, when I look at it I remember grandpa. I remember riding in his pickup through the pastures to cut thistles. I remember the time he was spitting out the window of his pickup and forgot that he had rolled the window up. The broken pocket watch on the table in my office reminds me of all that?

It is a strange thing to most people I suppose, that this broken, non-descript watch would cause me to recall grandpa’s life the way it does. I suppose it is strange. As strange as God looking at our brokenness every day and recalling the beauty, hope, and possibility He breathed into our souls when we drew our first breathe. As strange as Christ calling us to “love one another as I (God) have loved you.” A life of faith recalls that first hope; and believes the hope beyond our own brokenness where resurrection and new life await.

The day I chose the broken pocket watch, I also chose another item. I chose grandpa's slippers, for no apparent reason. Some things in life remain a mystery.


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