This is my father (I’m named after him). He will be 92 in March. He is an amazing man. He and my mother were married for 66 years the year she passed away. They raised 6 kids. He is a retired minister who is still deeply loved by everyone who has met him.
For almost a year now, one of my brothers calls or visits Dad at his apartment to record a daily podcast they call “Hymns with Jim” where Dad shares a story about a hymn and then sings it. People from all over America are tuning in to this. It is inspiring to hear Dad share from his heart.
This is just one way my dad has found to spread love. When it was allowed, he would visit those on the constant care unit of a nursing home to help them smile, listen to their stories, sing a song, and then pray with them. Spreading love. Always spreading love.
My mother’s father – another retired minister – was the same way. Grandpa loved people and this was more than evident on the day he died.
On that morning, like every morning, Grandpa read the Bible and then he prayed, by name, for everyone of his 19 grandchildren. He prayed for others, too.
Then he got up and drove to the 3 hospitals in our town. He was there to visit people he knew were there. He would let them know someone cared. He prayed for them. He brightened their day. Then he went to the nursing station to ask who had not had any visitors. Grandpa then went to those rooms, introduced himself, and then commenced spreading more love. He did this at all 3 hospitals that day – Grandpa was around 85.
He then went home to eat a quick bite of lunch. He then went outside and started up his mower, and began mowing his small backyard. Somewhere in the middle of mowing, he had a major heart attack and died instantly.
Both my dad and my grandfather are/were masters of spreading love. They never tired of doing this. If you were to meet them, you would not get by with a mere “hello”. Oh no. They would ask you questions about you. They would ask about your family They would make you smile and feel good. They would spread love.
My challenge for myself, my own family and now you is that we learn from these examples and do more to spread love to those we meet. No one has to be a stranger. Not when we’re spreading love. Just a smile. Saying “hello”. Being kind.