As I sit here, in honor of Father’s Day, reminiscing on my memories with my grandfather, Dr. Larry Crabb, I can’t help but smile. He truly is a man whose life is worthy of emulating. I do not say that lightly. Pop displayed Christ to others through his decisions and relationality in a way that few Christians are capable of. Pop was a righteous believer and an honorable mentor. Despite all the hardships he faced, his love for the Lord and others never wavered. However, at times, his faith did. That’s the tricky thing about faith, it is a deep conviction that something is the truth without definitive evidence.
His faith in God’s larger story was built upon a solid foundation. To build this foundation, it requires a deep degree of contemplation and prayer. First and foremost, he had to refute all preconceived ideas and question everything. This meant giving up Christianity for a period to evaluate his beliefs. He refused to be a Christian for any other reason than him truly believing it as the way, the truth, and the life. This is not an easy thing to do. It requires serious research in pursuit of the truth. Pop explained that shortly after his undergraduate, he sent a letter to his father explaining he was giving up Christianity. Pop was obviously anxious for his father’s reply. When he finally received his father’s letter, it read, “Glad you’re thinking.”
Pop vocalized that he wished the same thing for me. He wanted me to be sure in my beliefs. This was the best advice I could have received and how I intend to approach Christianity with my future children. Being raised in a Christian household is a huge blessing; however, it can also lead to complacency in our relationship with God. We can become stagnant in our prayer and lose touch of why we became Christians. It can lead to relying less on faith and more on our families’ beliefs. Therefore, Pop urged me, and I will urge my children to think for themselves. The doubt we all wrestle with is not a bad thing. As Pop demonstrated, we can use this doubt as a tool to strengthen our faith and draw nearer to God. Even from an early age I remember how fortunate I felt to be a member of the Crabb family with Larry as our Patriarch. I can only imagine what he’s seeing right now. Happy Father’s Day, Pop.
By Jake Crabb