Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Big Chief Tablets

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
2Corinthians 3:2-3

My grandfather, Duncan Eddy, had the heart of a true Irishman, his soul filled with poetry, music, and story-telling. As children, we would sit in his lap as he sang sweet ditties, or recited poetry he had learned as a child. My mother, now in her twilight years, can still recall certain poems and songs from her own childhood, passed down to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren from ages long ago. There are a few that we lovingly cherish and diligently teach to our children in order that they are not lost by time and fading memory. They are family treasures and our grandchildren’s lives would be somehow diminished without them.

I was quite young when my grandfather died and I can only recall shimmering glimpses of him now and then. There is a dim and distant memory of being at his house one day and, not seeing him, I went in search. I found him, as was often his habit, in the attic with a pen in hand and a Big Chief Tablet on the table in front of him. I was
probably interrupting a contemplative moment, as children of the age of four are apt to do, but he didn’t seem to mind. Instead, he set me on his lap, handed me a pen, and then solemnly placed a small notebook in my pudgy hand. The conversation we had has long been erased from my memory, but the significance of his actions has spoken volumes to me since.

More than fifty years have passed since Duncan Eddy went home to be with his Saviour. However, he le
ft behind a treasure that far surpassed the little ditties and poems he would recite and that we struggle to remember. Among a box of memories was found two Big Chief Tablets holding some of the things he had written, perhaps even on the day that I had interrupted him. The tablets chronicled his search for Christ, and his fumbled, often mistaken but soon awakened, reality of Who He is. They read as a letter would to my heart, revealing to me that my grandfather was a spiritual man in spite of his many faults. He struggled with understanding, as we all do at first. Most of the writings revealed his attempt to mistakenly pin down the date of Christ’s return because of all he had seen in his lifetime and the prophecy that was being fulfilled in front of his time-wearied eyes. We, too, find ourselves doing this today simply because we long to see His face. But, what was joyfully obvious was that he knew his Lord, he knew Him to be his Saviour, and he looked forward to His return, whether it was then or after he had gone.

Grandpa wrote on the tablet of my heart. Perhaps not when I was a child of four,
but certainly when I was giv
en the Big Chief Tablets to transcribe. “Written not with ink,” but with the hands of God’s Love that span eternity and are able to inscribe on hearts, far into the future, a message of promise, redemption and eternal life. This is the true treasure, given by the Spirit of our Living God. It wasn’t the ditties, poems, and stories that Grandpa Duncan prized the most and that we so diligently strive to pass on to other generations. It was the two Big Chief Tablets that survived decades of being moved from place to place, and the message that had been written upon his heart and passed to ours.

I carry my own notebooks now, writing upon them the treasures of my heart, and often, my own grandchildren innocently interrupt my contemplations. So I place them on my lap and give them their own pen and paper as my grandfather did to me. One day I hope they will also find mine, tucked away for another day far into the future, and as God did for me, the eternal treasure they bear is written on the tablets of their hearts as it was mine.