As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. — Psalm 103:13
Though my father has gone home to be with the Lord, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share with you about how much he dreamed, and how his dreams influenced all of his children. Over the years, we saw him start hundreds of businesses, but he was compassionate, always seeking ways to help others. Today, let me share just three of them with you.
One business he wanted was to set up a day care in Maryland. He had obtained a house and was in the process of being set up for child care (they were taking pictures for the licensing required by the state) but when our home in D.C. caught on fire during the middle of the day while everybody was at work or school, we ended up having to move into that Maryland house. It was as if it was a blessing that he had that house already in his possession.
Next dream, my father was setting up a four-story home in Washington, DC, to care for senior citizens. He went to the D.C. Department of Health’s training program, he studied to pass the test, and after all of that work and planning, the homeowner wouldn’t give him a long-term lease, which was a requirement.
My father built a little house on the top of his station wagon. He had decided that he would sell fresh vegetables grown in his garden to the public by driving his truck around. He thought this little car-top shed would be excellent advertisement. We were so embarrassed!
We heard about so many businesses that we finally began to ignore his vision. We knew this was just another one of his dreams! Today, however, some 50 years later, we all realize the dreams of our father caused each of us to dream, too. We are determined to make our dreams become a reality.
We saw in him a visionary, someone who didn’t quite understand the principle of setting and reaching goals. He didn’t understand that the first and most important step, after coming up with the idea, is to keep going — never, ever quit!
Our father’s parents died when he was young, and his older brothers refused to take him in. He lived in a little shack of a house, situated behind the big house of white landowners in North Carolina. He was only 12 or 13 years old, but he worked for his landowners in exchange for his room and board. They placed a plate on the back porch each night for his dinner. He came for his plate and was very thankful.
His first vehicle was a broken-down car that a white family called junk. He worked on that car, and he kept putting on new parts until one day, that car would run. Throughout his life, he never considered a car junk; instead, he would talk about how one day he would get that car running again. Once he died, the family was finally able to get rid of all of the junk he treasured.
Each of us family members have looked back on this history of our father for the good that it brings into our lives. Even for me to write this column each week, it was the wisdom of my father that often said to me, “Linda, you can find a scripture in the Bible for everything.” It has been his influence over my thinking that has caused me to be able to stay focused, writing stories each week for The Religion Corner.
This Father’s Day, I write this article as a tribute to my father, Bishop Benjamin F. Grant Sr. Happy Father’s Day to you, in Heaven!
Lyndia Grant is the host of “Think on These Things,” a radio talk show on WYCB (1340 AM), Fridays at 6 p.m. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.