Today I buried my father.
And I feel like I should mark this with some kind of profound comment. But I am somewhat overwhelmed.
I facilitated the tributes at his memorial service this afternoon. There were friends and colleagues at the service – some were his contemporaries, and some were mine. And we shared memories of ways in which he touched our lives. My Dad was adamant that he did not want tributes at his funeral – because he did not want adulation. He was a classic evangelical preacher, who wanted to honour Jesus, and was anxious that people should not be distracted from this by talking about by the life of a mere human being. I believe that we managed to speak about my father in a God-honouring way. I was humbled by the people who spoke of the way his teaching and encouragement touched their own living: humbled to see the size of the footsteps I walk in.
Stanley James Grassow took leave of this life on Monday 5th August in the 88th year of his life. He was in the 57th year of his marriage to my mother. Dad has been a Methodist Minister for 63 years and has also been the pastor to our family, and extended family. I feel the weight of having no senior members of my family left: I have become the patriarch! More than this, I feel my responsibility in taking over the role my father played in providing direction and values for the family.
And I ask your prayers as I begin a new chapter of my life – a life without a father to call on.