Friday, March 14, 2008

Ode to Grandpa Bill

He served in WWII.
He loved to quote A.W. Tozer.
He knew how to say "hello" in over 30 languages.
He befriended and served internationals that came to America.
He intentionally went to the longest grocery line so he would have more time to tell that person about Jesus.
He drank so much carrot juice he literally began to turn orange (during his battle with cancer).
He was often found dumpster diving.
He shared Jesus with all my friends (which made me nervous in the junior high years)
He shared Jesus with anything that moved.
He loved hymns.
He would ask people every Good Friday, "What's so good about Good Friday?"
He was so cheap he requested upon his death to be frozen with his legs crossed so he could be screwed into the ground (thus avoiding the expenses of casket/burial).
He built us a tree house in his woods (with electricity running up to it).
He built a real house in his woods.
He had 10 Volvos parked in his woods.
He was an electrician.
He was a plumber.
He had a sharp mind.
He saturated his heart, soul and mind with the Scriptures.
He moaned when others prayed, and on some occasions toward the end of his life, he moaned, then fell asleep and snored, then moaned again in prayer.
He loved to get rubbed. On his death bed when he couldn't speak, he would moan when you rubbed his head or back.
He took naps on the floor and used a telephone book as his pillow (my friend Sam searched high and low for the phone book, and guess where it was...)
He ground his own wheat in a massive coffee grinder and made waffles every Saturday morning.
He loved ice cream (though it made him congested).
He challenged other 70 year olds to race him.
He climbed trees.
He drove old cars, made wise investments, shared cool quotes, ("Mark, let God have your life, let people be your life, and let wisdom lead your life.")
He loved people.
He loved Jesus.

He was my Grandpa Bill.

Thanks, grandpa, for paving a superhighway of righteousness for me and your children and grandchildren. May your legacy of passionate faith in the Lord Jesus be passed on to all your offspring until his return. May every path of folly be met with difficulty, while the path of righteousness met with joy and peace, and may we enter through the narrow gate beholding the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Bill Arant died almost 14 years ago- I was inspired to write because I never want to forget his legacy. Some of you have memories of Grandpa Bill, please feel free to post them as a comment.


Anonymous said...

what a great guy! is that you in the background of that picture?

Metropuritan Mark said...

Yep, that's me- I've got a "Vision" skate t-shirt on so it's probably 7th or 8th grade. He was a great guy indeed. I hope to carry on his legacy...


barbie said...

I got teary eyed reading that beautiful memoir. I am a firm believer that we have been blessed by the faithfulness of those who have walked before us. My heart longs to pass that heritage of faithfulness to Jesus on to my children and grandchildren.
I hope Grandma Rena has had a chance to read this.

Micah said...

You'll be happy to know that his legacy lives on in his grandson Matt (who evangelized me) and his son Bill Jr. (who baptized me).

Dewey Crosby said...


Funny how the words "small world" come into play so often now-a-days!!! I knew your Grampa over 50 years ago!! Yup,, 1954 or '55.. I read your blog thinking that somewhere in it you would tell how he used to swallow his tongue!!
He was the only person that I ever met that could do that.. I was in the 5th grade back then and my buddy was Billy Arant JR. I found out from my Mom when she was still alive, thet Bill JR was Pastor of the Church in Monticello, MN. I called and talked to him about 8 yrs ago or so?? We were going to get together for luch, but it never worked out. I nowlive in Palm City, FL. I think if I would seen this picture of Bill SR, I would have recognized him. He had brown hair back when I knew him, but still looks the same!! I hope to see him and Billy JR again in heaven!! Dwayne Crosby

Metropuritan Mark said...


Thanks so much for your comment on this post. Grandpa Bill affected many people on this earth. I can't wait to join him in glory. If we have tongues there, I'm sure he'll be able to swallow his. My dad can actually do that as well...

- Mark