Sunday, April 29, 2012


"Those that are healthy do not need a doctor; 
but those that are ill are in need of one." 
-- Jesus

A Tribute to my friend Pat.

William Patrick Grisdale passed away during his 60th trip around the sun. I first met Pat and his wife Diane through some mutual friends. They needed a handyman, I needed new friends! Pat's outer body was frail due to an unfortunate accident while serving in the Navy out of high school. Much of his time was spent reminiscing those days; and much of his time was spent drowning his sorrows and pain in the only reliable source of pain-killing he knew...alcohol.

The fix-it projects they found for me provided many hours to spend in their company. As a former pastor I am often tempted to believe that I am here to “fix” people. That mindset creates barriers and obstacles to drinking deeply from the well of sincere love & friendship. 

God fixed me of that mindset through my time spent with Pat & Diane by teaching me to love the things that are lovely in the man and not love the things that I proscribed for his “salvation”. For if love was dependent on his compliance to my wonder-filled "counsel" then it is held captive by disappointment at his failure to heed my advice!

It was said of Jesus that "a bruised reed he would not break off, nor a dying ember extinguish." I have in my mind's eye a picture of Jesus the man tenderly helping the weakest take trembling steps to strengthen their resolve to walk and in their trying filling them with new found strength to keep on walking! 

Pat struggled with not merely physical pain, but the frustration of living an unproductive life; of being less than a man to provide for his wife, fix his own house, take long drives, to conquer the beasts within and without. But he made progress...and progress gives hope for change. 

Change comes because we have a Father who is perfect! Perfect in His devotion to us, perfect in his ability to complete us...he only asks that we repent of trust in any other will then His Perfecting Will and make whatever efforts we can to hold his hand and try.

I rejoiced in Pat's trying...God rejoices in His completing!