But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it… (2 Timothy 3:14, NRSV)

Gramps was my mild-mannered maternal grandfather. He died while I was in seminary and I had the great privilege of eulogizing him at his memorial service. I will never forget standing under the giant oak tree on the campus of Southern Methodist University that warm September day, 15 years ago, when my mother called to tell me the news. It was not a surprise, but I was saddened, nonetheless.

I have many unique memories of my grandfather. He always washed the windshield of my parent’s car before we left after visiting. Gramps was a dapper dresser and always wanted to know about how school was going, or the outcome of the latest Little League game. He had an unmistakable laugh and smile. And despite being a child of the Great Depression and facing some unfair challenges in life, he had an indomitable optimism that was infectious.

While it is difficult to be away from my office and my staff colleagues during this time of social distancing and remote work, one of the things I treasure is that in my home office, I sit at Gramps’ desk every day. After his death, I inherited the his desk, and each time I sit down for a Zoom meeting, or to write a devotional, or review a budget report, I feel different at this desk. It is as though I am more grounded – grounded in my family, grounded in my faith, grounded in his optimism, grounded in Gramps.

I still miss Gramps and I have tears in my eyes as I write this. But I will forever be grateful for the groundedness gifted to me in this desk. And as Timothy admonishes us in his letter, may we “continue in what we have learned…knowing from whom [we] learned it.”

Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor
Senior Minister

In thanksgiving for those who ground us in our faith:
Loving God, thank you for those who ground me in life and in faith. Amen.