Maybe it’s less about searching for something new and more about discovering what’s already been laid out before you.
My paternal grandfather worked as an electrician here in Denver. He had spent his whole life on the farm in Northwest Iowa, but when my father became too ill with asthma and allergies, my grandpa Jean picked up the family, sold the farm and moved out to Colorado, a place he’d only seen once before in his life. If he hadn’t, it is more than likely my father wouldn’t have made it through that year of his life.
My grandpa maintained his farming roots with pictures of Farmall tractors and a wardrobe accessorized always by a seed cap, worn slightly askew. He wired homes and did odd jobs for people all along the way. He was an elder at First Reformed Church on Clarkson and Iowa. He wasn’t a fancy man, but he was a hard worker, a man who loved his family and who loved God. I lost my grandpa while I was in high school, but there are still many ways in which I believe he’s still been able to support me.
I was contemplating attending Iliff when my father told me this story. My grandparents lived on Birch and Iliff, so traveling east and west on Iliff was a normal occurrence. On one particular day, my grandpa, going through the intersection at University and Iliff got t-boned by another car, sending his light green pick-up spinning in circles, opening his back hatch and having all of the contents spew onto the lawn right next to the Iliff School of Theology sign. Thousands of nails, screws, wires, tools, switches, littered the lawn. My grandpa remembers with fondness the number of Iliff students that made their way out to the lawn and helped him put back together the many pieces of his life, back into that light green truck.
From there I realized that Iliff is just that: a place where people come together to fix the messes, the accidents and to serve in the unfortunate circumstances. It was that way decades ago, and it’s still that way today.