My grandpa was never my next-door neighbor. He was never the guy to show up at all my band concerts and birthday parties. He never even lived in the same country as me. Grandpa is a Scotsman and has lived an ocean away my whole life. However, this has definitely not stopped him from being an influence in my life. Grandpa has always made the most of our limited interactions. From modelling Christian virtues, to inviting me to share the things he loves, my grandpa has had a big impact on who I am and who I want to be.
When I was ten, my grandpa came to visit us in the United States. My family went for a walk through the neighborhood to the local ice cream shop. There are many homeless people in the area, so I was not surprised when we saw a homeless man outside of the shop. What did surprise me was how my grandpa responded to this man.
While the rest of my family went inside to order, Grandpa remained outside. I stayed with him to watch what he would do. To my astonishment, Grandpa walked up to the homeless stranger and gave him some money. I had never seen anyone do this before, and the image of my grandpa’s generosity really stuck with me. He was such a genuine and authentic Christian. He saw a need and he responded. He didn’t take time off from his faith just because he was on a family outing.
This small act of generosity gave me great respect for my grandpa. I have always looked up to him since then as someone to emulate. I want to be a strong Christian man who cares for those who are weaker or less fortunate than me. I want to be a Christian who doesn’t take the weekend off. I want to be like Grandpa.
It’s not so much the quantity of the time spent together as it is the quality. My grandpa lived far away from me and we didn’t have as much time together as either one of us would have liked. He still succeeded in making a big impact on me through the little things he did in the little time we shared.
Peter Krause is one of four children and lives in Lansing, Michigan. He is a sophomore at Lansing Catholic High School and enjoys history, theater and music.
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