Some of the earliest memories I have in my life involve my grandfather. I remember being a part of Children’s choir at First Baptist. I remember during the holiday season we would go to local nursing homes and sing for the residents who lived there. Once we were done singing we would walk around and talk to the residents and I would introduce myself as Tim Reed.
When they heard my last name they would inevitably ask, “Do you know Dr. Reed (or Willis Reed)?” I would respond, “Yes, he’s my grandpa.” And they would respond, “He is such a great man.”
As a child I never knew how to respond to that. I mean, he was my grandfather, so of course I thought he was great. It also made me wonder what he did for all these other people, and why they thought he was so great. Having a chance to read these letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother gives me a glimpse as to what they saw in him. In these letters, my grandfather was not trying to impress, amaze, or give off the persona of a great pastor. He was laying bare all of who he was, and what was inside him.
These letters show his intense desire to grow closer to God. The letters show the passionate love he had for my Grandmother. They show his desire to see all those around him know the love of Christ that he felt every day. They show a man who is trying to make himself in Christ’s image. Quite simply they show a man who is pursuing and producing the fruit of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. With our country in the midst of apathy, divisiveness and arrogance, we need to be reminded of those qualities even more.
January 5, 2017