This is a true story of a man I will call Joseph. Now Joseph is a handsome man who stands strong and tall at the age of 84. You and I might imagine reaching that age and deciding to relax in an easy chair. Not Joseph. Let me explain.
Joseph and his wife led the comfortable days of a retired couple. It was a quiet life, for they never had children of their own. That all changed when Joseph turned 78. Joseph received a call that his young grandniece and grandnephew, ages three and nine, were in trouble. Hard times came upon the biological parents and they were unable to care for their children. With no hint of hesitation, Joseph and his wife jumped into the breech.
“Yes, we will take these children into our home,” they said.
I, personally, cannot imagine this scenario. Joseph had never dealt with child temper tantrums, runny noses, missing socks, troubles at school, and waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of children crying. Against all odds, they carried on their mission.
Last November Joseph’s wife died, and he was left alone to care for the children. Undaunted, Joseph faced more challenges. His grandnephew (I will call him Paul) went to live with his biological grandmother. Soon after, the grandmother passed away. The step-grandfather worked a job that required him to go to work at two in the morning. Not a problem for Joseph.
“Drop him off at my house after supper and he can sleep at my house,” he said.
Now Paul was struggling in school and needed help. Not a problem for Joseph. He spent $10,000 to pay for a special tutoring program. Paul thrived.
In the midst of all this drama, enter the biological mother who had become sober, wanted to make amends to all those she had hurt, and enter into the lives of her children. That created a problem. Mom lived a distance away and the children would have to leave the area, disrupting their lives once again. Not a problem for Joseph. He plans to buy a house for the family so they can stay in the area.
I will tell you that Joseph’s sister is a religious sister who told me this story. As you might guess, she prays often, as does Joseph. All of the twists and turns in this story leads me to believe that God had a hand in protecting these children.
As for Joseph, I don’t think he will spend hours relaxing in his easy chair. He is, after all, always on call.