By Nathan Powers
My Grandfather, Lacy Granger (Papaw), was born in western Tennessee 35 years after Abraham Lincoln gave the address we remember this year. He served as a US Marine in World War I and lived through most of the remaining wars of the 20th century. I don’t know why but my mind thinks of him when I think of Peace. I did not meet my Papaw until he was 73 years old. He was no longer the eager, young man who lied about his age to join the fight in Germany, but a distinguished old man, who loved to be outside: soft spoken and well respected.
On the other hand, my grandmother, Mamaw to me, Johnnie Lou Granger to the community, was the antithesis of Peace. I remember many mornings waking up to hear Mamaw shuffling around the kitchen, making biscuits, and ordering Papaw to cook the bacon. After the cooking and eating were done, Papaw would settle into his cleanup routine. “Johnnie,” he would say with a smile, “you got more flour in the drawers than you did in the biscuits.” While my Mamaw was loving, joyful and filled with hope, Papaw was Peaceful. He brought peace to the chaos of the kitchen and to those around him. While Mamaw was always looking for somewhere to go and someone to take her (she lived 93 years and never drove a car but was always able to find a ride somewhere), Papaw was content to head down to the barn and check on the cows or to watch a nine year old sled down the hill for hours.
I am proud of both Johnnie and Lacy. I want to live the passion of my Grandmother ready for new adventures at a moment’s notice. However I strive to find the Peace of my Grandfather: content, measured, willing to listen before speaking.
When I think of Advent, Peace is the theme that resonates with me the most. I seek to be at Peace with others and with myself. It’s amazing what the memory of an old Marine can teach you about Peace.