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Beauty for Ashes (Part V)- Celebrating the Resurrection Power of Christ

My maternal grandpa passed away last evening. It happened all of a sudden- when a frantic mom called me up, I could barely make out what she was saying. “Appachen chale gaye (Appachen left),” she cried out hysterically. For a moment, I wondered if she meant he went to buy groceries. Then she said,” Appachen, hum log ko chod kar chale gaye(Appachen left us),” and the reality dawned on me.

One Gem Lost, One Crown Gained

Daniel appachen, or Kunja appachen as we lovingly called him, was a gem of a human being. He was perhaps the most consistent human I have seen for over 20 years. Everything about him, from his hairstyle to his speech, remained the same for all these decades. A man of very few words (literally), he hardly ever spoke more than 10-20 words a day. Not because he was anti-social, but because even those few words were worth a billion.

I had never seen him angry once, and mom testifies that he never raised his hand on any of his children. Very fond of walks, you could see him strolling in the backyard, either sweeping away the leaves or cutting down a jackfruit. His physique was well-built even till the last hours. No decay, no disease; he even went to bring mom from her in-law’s place yesterday. Truly the resurrection power of Christ regenerated his youth every new day.

Dani papa (Kunja appachen) lived well, and he died peacefully. Yes, he did cause he waited for my mum to come, wished goodbye to all her in-laws, and died in the presence of his loved ones. There will be many tears on earth for the loss of such a gem, but I know that Heaven rejoiced when they saw my appachen last evening, making his way through their gates, knowing he will stay there forever!

Christ, Our Hope of Glory, Our Crown of Life

My tears for Dani papa didn’t last more than a few minutes. Why? Because the moment I heard how he died, I knew it was beautiful and perfect.

Death is not God’s will; He never meant men to die, yet passing away once you have fulfilled your calling is a moment to be celebrated, especially when you are in Christ! My Dani papa passed away from the earth and its troubles to a place without sickness, pain, and death! He now lives forever with our Savior! How can one not rejoice!

Death is never the end, neither for the believer nor the unbeliever. The God-breathed spirit that dwells in each of us is eternal. Yet, it’s the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, the resurrection power of Christ, that guarantees our inheritance in Him.

A Walk to Remember and Cherish

Dani papa had a beautiful walk with our Lord, and I can say without a doubt that perhaps the reason why he spoke so little was to keep his tongue from sinning. He imitated Jesus in all he did, for Christ was his hope of glory, his everlasting crown.

I still remember when COVID-related restrictions were passed. Dani papa was sad because he could no longer go to church and be with his church buddies! One day, out of sheer desperation, that 80+ high-spirited youth even took a bus to town, only to be scolded by his son, my uncle.

Two years of coronavirus could do nothing to this soldier of Christ. Every evening at 7 pm, no matter where he would be, Dani papa would get out his bible and hymn book for the evening prayer. He didn’t know a single tune, yet he sang away joyfully, determined to please only the One who mattered.

How can such memories bring sorrow to anyone who knew Dani papa? I know he is with Jesus, and I couldn’t be happier than I am now, for he has reached his destination, and we will be there with him one day!

Taking Life One Day at a Time, Living in His Grace

Dani papa at his morning ritual of devouring all news

Another notable characteristic of Dani papa was that he could never be hurried. He was calm, wise and had the most beautiful smile in the world. Growing up, my mum and her siblings weren’t financially well-off. Appachen worked in a private company while my grandmum worked as a nurse in a govt hospital. With three kids to provide for, they took things one at a time.

For a greater part of his life, Dani papa looked after the children while grammy had work commitments, and they supported each other beautifully. My mum is his product, and she is amazing. No abuse, no scar, no pain marks her memory cause her dad provided the best for her.

That’s how every man ought to be. A loving husband, a wise father, and an amazing grand dad, but before all things, a man firmly-rooted in Christ!

Mum had given him his evening tea and gone to fetch some vadas, and in the twinkling of an eye, Dani papa went to be with the Lord. The legacy he left behind isn’t the house he built or the car he bought, it’s his walk with Christ and the seed he has planted in all his children and grandchildren- the seed of love, faith, and hope.

See you soon, Dani papa, on the other end.

Till then, au-revoir!

Yours joint-heir in Christ,

Sany Mol:)

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