This is my Uncle Ralph.
People say I look like him but I don’t see a resemblance.
This photo was taken years ago. He is older and grayer now and he has put on a few pounds. His double chin has doubled making it a quadruple, I guess.
I am afraid we have not been very respectful of Uncle Ralph these last few years. We make fun of him cause he falls asleep with his Bible at every family gathering. He has chronic bad breath, his body makes weird noises, and the smells–oh man, don’t get me started. Worst of all, he will drone on and on about his glory days, how he once did 784 pull-ups, how he used to swing from tree to tree and all the girls couldn’t take their eyes off him. Probably true. Just look at that picture; The guy had movie-star good looks.
Uncle Ralph was pretty smart in his day; ran his own banana sales business and it prospered for years. Nowadays, though, his mind is not so sharp and his memory is not good at all. Half the time he calls me by my sister’s name, Average Josephine. We tend not to expect much from Uncle Ralph, we overlook him and marginalize him.
When all of us are sitting around, though, trying to ignore the smells coming from Uncle Ralph’s chair, talking about the recent events in our lives and what they might mean and how we should deal with them, Uncle Ralph will invariably have the wisest and most relevant and helpful advice.
He does it all the time and every time it surprises us because we think we are the smart ones. We don’t believe that someone so old, someone who can’t remember our names could possibly help us deal with any modern-day problem.
We might be right. Maybe we are smarter than Uncle Ralph is now… but we aren’t wiser. He may forget our names but God’s Word is part of him which makes him wiser than all of us who look down on him.
Do you have an Uncle Ralph? I’ll bet he is not as handsome as mine.