By Mike Hughes
I have at times heard it said that something is good depending upon what it is compared with. I recently preached a funeral of a man that died at the age of 76 years old of health complications. This man had 19 and 16 great grandchildren.
I had been with the family since the onset of this man’s hospital stay; thus I became close to some of them. The night before the funeral I was helping some of the family chose music for the funeral. His grandchildren got together and said they wanted the “Grandpa Song.” I thought I had never heard of the Grandpa song so some of them started to explain it to me. I discovered the song they were referring to is “Grandpa tell me about the Good old days” by a country singing duo calling themselves the Judds. I wondered what place country music had at a funeral. One of the grandchildren is stationed in South Korea and so during the funeral after my portion of the service they played a tape tribute that he wrote to his grandpa. Right after this tribute the “Grandpa” song as they called it was played. As I set on the stage tears were brought to my eyes as I thought of my own grandpa who passed away in 1981.
The song has a line in it that says “grandpa tell me about the good old days when the line between right and wrong wasn’t so easy.” I thought of how significant that it is how much society has changed, how much it seems we have moved away from being a God-fearing nation. Probably in Grandpa’s day the line between right and wrong was none better. People weren’t apt to use the Bible to try to justify some form of sin they wanted to be engaged in. Grandpa could probably compare his day to his Grandpa’s day and say the same thing. I am but 36 years old and can see evidence of changes in my short life span.
There is another line in this song that I listened closely to; it goes “When promises were really something people kept not just something they would say and then forget.” I can remember my grandpa would speak of times when there were no contracts for everything but you would make a promise with your word and that would be the bond. Jesus says in Matthew 5:37 “But let your Yea be Yea and your Nay be Nay.” It does seem like we have gotten away from that.
There was another line that I heard in that song that I pondered on as I set staring at the casket of this grandpa. It goes: “Families really bowed their heads and prayed. Daddies really never go away. ” How many times today can you say that you have prayed with your families? Again Jesus says in Matthew 7:7-9 to ask, seek, and knock. How will we be able to have help in overcoming problems of society today without prayer?
As I notice various surveys today I find that there are more daddies and mothers going away today. If more mothers and daddies would follow the teachings there would be fewer “Daddies going away.” We live in a very selfish society, which I believe contributes to such a high divorce rate.
The second verse of this song started “Wonder back in the past, paint me a picture of long ago.” I wonder how many of the grandchildren whose grandpa is living have asked him to “paint me a picture of long ago.”
As grandpa’s what kind of picture would you paint of long ago? Sometimes this world does seem to have gone, crazy. We do call it progress and I truly don’t know.
Yes, it was unusual to hear a country song at a funeral service, but I do believe the words were appropriate to the occasion. As I sat listening to this song I was thinking how I wish I could see either one of my grandpa’s and ask them to “tell me about the good old days.”
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 9, p. 261
May 5, 1988