|My Great Grandfather, Samuel Rutherford Davis|
I grew up visiting my Grandparents in the house that my Great-Grandfather had helped build, but it has long since been sold.
Most of the physical, tangible memories of "Grandpa" are long since gone. I have some photographs, a candlestick holder (really it was his wife's), a few things like that. Not much.
But, I have two lasting possessions that Great-Grandpa left.
I have the stories of his virtuous life, as told to me by my Mother.
- He served on his Church Session (like a Vestry, Board of Directors, or Parish Council) for 50 years without a break.
- He taught Church School faithfully for many years.
- He would bring groceries to his daughter (my Grandmother) on the Lord's Day. Gasoline was rationed and it was too long a drive to take twice in a week, but wouldn't accept payment for those groceries on that day - since it wouldn't be right to defile the Lord's Day with business. He was a Grocer by trade.
- He got up every Monday Morning and did all the household laundry - by hand! - for my Great-Grandmother before he started his work for the day. Talk about Servant-Leadership!
- As a Grocer he helped so many customers by letting them give an IOU for groceries during the Great Depression. He knew they could never pay for the loans, but didn't want to humiliate them with a "handout."
- He read the Bible through from cover to cover every year of his adult life, and said that every time he picked it up, he saw something new.
- And, perhaps most importantly, he was loved and admired by all of those closest to him.
These are the stories of Grandpa Samuel. This week is his Birthday. He was born on January 7, 1874.
But, the most important thing I have of Grandpa is the words from his Last Will and Testament. Not the paper anymore - just the words that have been copied and handed down:
"I desire to bequeath to my children and their families my testimony to the truth and preciousness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This heritage of Christian faith, received in an unbroken line from [Christian*] ancestors, is of infinitely more value than any earthly possessions that I hereby bequeath or devise to them. As life's sun sinks toward its setting, I want to say to my dear children and grandchildren in this private document: Hold fast to the faith and fellowship and service of Jesus Christ and His Church. They will make life worth living under any conditions." (Author not known, but expresses my thoughts and desires.) (Signed) Samuel R. Davis
* Scotch Covenanter. Although I am a Greek Orthodox Christian, I still hold my family's Scotch Covenanter Christian heritage in the highest regard.
As my Grandmother noted when she copied these words years later, ". . . he being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews 11:4
For years after I got Grandpa's Will - I thought it was unique. Then, one day, I happened on this catalogue of Quotes of American Founders. Many of them professed their Faith in their Last Will & Testament. Apparently this was quite a common practice among Believers at one time
If you are a Christian preparing to write a Will or to do Estate Planning - think this over when you decide what legacy you want to leave for your descendants for them to treasure & remember you by.
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