Wednesday, June 12, 2013
My Grandfather's Legacy by Linden Malki
There are two kinds of comedians--those who do funny things, and those who do things funny. The Christian life is like this: we are called to do Godly things, and we are also called to do things in a Godly way. Doing good things is easy. If we open our eyes at all, God will show us Godly things to do. In fact, we can get so involved in doing good things it can become a substitute for living in a Godly way. The trickier challenge is to do everything in God's way--not just our "good works" but our everyday lives--with our family, friends, work, life in general.
With Father's Day coming up, thinking about this brought memories of my father. He was someone who served God both in the church and community, and lived it on a daily basis. But I was led back to his father. My grandfather had died long before I was born; I am the youngest granddaughter. But stories of him are still told not only in the family but in places where he lived. Last fall I was in Oregon for a weekend, and drove out to the little town off the main road that he had built about a hundred years ago. I wound up spending a morning visiting with a family who lives across the road from the only piece of property left in the family. They were from that part of Oregon originally, but had only moved into Cherry Grove a few years ago. But when they found out that I was August Lovegren's granddaughter they were excited to meet me--stories of the early days of Cherry Grove and Grandpa were still being told. They gave me a copy of a 2011 book written by a reporter from Portland who had moved into the county and had written a history of the area--which describes Grandpa as a "born-again Baptist" with a vision of "a boom town of devout, industrious people." He had already built another sawmill town outside of Seattle, and in both towns, he built churches which still exist. He had originally become a Baptist in an underground home church in Sweden, where it was then illegal to worship outside the state church. One of my favorite family pictures is one of the Seattle-area mill with the crew--and in front with Grandpa are five children--not just Dad and his brother but three small sisters as well, obviously accustomed to being there. He had eleven children and 20 grandchildren; his descendants include several missionaries, ministers (including our own Mark Lambert) and most of us are active church people. He truly was a follower of Jesus who lived his faith and left legacies in his family and his communities.