Granddaddy Felix T. Bryant died at the age of 91 years. I was 21. Granddaddy was on his death bed in their little low income apartment. I visited them often and made sure mother got to be with them regularly. One night I was visiting my grandparents when Granddaddy said, “Be sure you read Ephesians the fifth chapter before you marry.” “I will Granddaddy,” I replied. Nothing more was said about it on that occasion. I went home, opened my Bible to Ephesians chapter 5, and read it. I made a note in my Bible that Granddaddy had asked me to read that chapter before marrying. He was a sick man. He talked out of his head from time to time. It wasn’t long until I went back to visit him again. There he was, a tall, thin man, lying on his back on his bed. I was seated at the foot of the bed. He knew I was there. He said, “I bet you haven’t read Ephesians chapter 5 yet.” I was so glad to reply, “Yes I have, Grandaddy.” And that was it.
A small comment, yet a powerful one, from the lips of a dying man. A comment that brings back the memory each time the book of Ephesians is mentioned or seen.
What did I get from this encouragement from someone I loved dearly?He knew what Ephesians 5 was all about. There was a message he wanted me to hear straight from the word of God. He could have told me, I’m certain, but he wanted me to read it straight from the inspired Word.
There’s an example in all of us, no matter what time it is, no matter what age we are, no matter where we are. We are setting and leaving our example in the minds of those we meet along life’s pathway. The Bible says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” and we know it to be true. Whatever is on our mind, in our hearts, it is that of which we will speak. Granddaddy knew his Bible. Many are the memories I have of him sitting on the low platform yellow rocker that was much too small for his tall, thin, frame. His legs were crossed and both basically reached the floor. Across his lap lay his open Bible. He knew the Book, but more than that He knew the Author. His heart was filled with the word of God, and therefore out of it flowed the words of life. He left me a wonderful example, and one that I have, and forever more, will carry with me, sharing it all along the way with those who will hear.