The Man I Called Grandpa

Posted by Michael La Framboise on Friday, October 25, 2013 Under: Meditations
I was very close to my grandparents, ever at their house or the church they had built together. Hardly a day could pass in my life when I did not see them. We did so much together. I remember Sunday afternoon lunches and mountain vacations; I remember spending the night at their house, watching X-files with them, and making homemade ice-cream for the Fourth of July! When I played football they were in the stands; and when I had an old broken down car to fix up, grandpa was there to help me. Yet, as close as I was to my grandparents, I only knew them as such. I was a child, and I knew Jerry Osborne as Grandpa, but lately I have gotten to know Jerry Osborne the man.

Over the past few years I have been compiling a history of my grandfather’s life and ministry. Much of the story I knew well, but there have been new stories and details that I have been able to glean which have been invaluable, not only to my research for his biography, but to me personally as his grandson. It has been fascinating to get to know the man I called Grandpa.

It has been an inspiring experience to examine the story of my grandfather’s life from the standpoint of author and biographer. I write about “Jerry” instead of grandpa. I follow Jerry from his earliest years of abuse and hardship up to his conversion and new found joy in the Lord- joy which moved him to surrender his life to God. I write about a man who fell in love, who starts a life with his sweetheart and ventures in to Norwalk to raise a family and build a church. I write about a man who was used in a powerful way by the Holy Spirit, though he faced many attacks from the Enemy and the Accuser. I write about a man of conviction, who also knew compassion. I write about a man who seemed never to tire in his service and was ever focused on the King’s business. I write about a man of God and a man of faith, and suddenly I begin to truly grasp what I have lost.

It is strange to read and hear his sermons as an adult and as a pastor. It is so incredible to really digest what he did and what he accomplished. It’s fascinating to read his writings and gather insight into his philosophy of ministry, his personal convictions, and even his political leanings. I find myself viewing his decisions and actions in ways I could have never understood them previously. I recount the experiences, I notice the development, and I see the man who was my Grandpa. Not the one dimensional caricature which so many have in their minds, but the flesh and blood of the real person who lived, who loved, who worked, and who was taken out of my life all too soon.

I believe that understanding my godly heritage has stirred in me a desire to both honor that heritage and to move forward in the ministry because of that heritage. I am discouraged and disheartened to see so many of his own walk away from Christ, dishonoring the Name of Jesus and the sacrifice of His Cross. In studying Grandpa’s life, I am stunned by some who forsake that which he held so dear. I have experienced trials in my life and I have been tempted by sin; but since when does that mean we should give in and give up and walk away from that which was given to us?

The man, Jerry Osborne, would stand at the altar and beckon God’s children forward to renew their commitment to the Lord. I can see him now with his feet oddly pointed at 45-degree angles; his Bible in one hand as he extended the other: “Won’t you come?” No doubt the man I called Grandpa would stand there today beckoning to his own: “Won’t you come?” I can hear my grandmother playing “Just As I Am” on the piano as Grandpa stands in the aisle calling us to the altar.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

The more I have learned about the man I called Grandpa, the more I have been inspired to serve the Lord. Maybe others who knew the man I called Grandpa would do well by remembering the man he truly was, that they might honor his legacy; and moreover, bring glory to God by their own lives.

R.G. "Jerry" Osborne
My Grandpa
October 25, 1928 - November 15, 1997

In : Meditations 

Tags: grandpa  jerry osborne  inspiration  conviction  backsliding  legacy  heritage 
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