July 21: The Life of Spoose

On the first anniversary of his death, Kerry Trotter, the content manager of Word on Fire Ministries, recalled the life of her grandfather, Jack Leonard, who was nicknamed “Spoose.”

Though the 94-year-old Chicago native had been “a big, Irish personality full of stories and songs and…wit,” Spoose had known his share of hard times.  He endured them because of his Catholic faith which was “formed by his parents who fled their homes in Ireland as teenagers, hungry, poor and terrified.  They clung to it like the few cents sewn into their jacket pocket.”

Spoose experienced suffering of his own: the deaths of friends and family along with other losses.  But Trotter says, “That suffering was repurposed into love.  There were no grudges.  Even when friends and business partners betrayed him…he turned the other cheek.”

Again, it was his faith that shaped Spoose’s attitude: “He was a boots-on-the-ground believer in God.  He delivered love knowing that everyone deserved it, and that receiving love was an empowering gift with no equal.”

Practice loving God and neighbor just like Spoose did.

Experience is the crown of the aged.  (Proverbs 25:6)

Make me a boots-on-the-ground believer, Lord.

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