For Al’s forty-fifth high school reunion, we were driving through his tiny hometown of Harford, PA (population 1300) when we saw a highway marker:
“Galusha Grow— Father of the Homestead Act, opening the western lands to free settlement in 1862. Speaker of the House 1861- 1863. Returned to Congress 1893-1903. Educated at Franklin Academy, Harford, and buried in this cemetery.”
The Grow family was related to Al’s Grandpa Stuart. This God Sighting sent us down a new trail of generational inheritance. Remarkably, one of the first careers that Al wanted to pursue was politics, but his Grandpa discouraged him by telling him that he couldn’t be a Christian and a politician.
Was there a door to politics in Al’s inheritance? It gets better. As we researched Galusha Grow, we found out what an outside-the-box leader he was. He started his political career as a Democrat, but as Congress was voting for slave and free states, Grow was frustrated and became a Republican. There was actually a brawl between northerners and southerners on the floor of Congress in 1858 after Galusha was called a “Black Republican Puppy” for his support of the African-American slaves. (“the Congressional Brawl of 1858”)
Grow served as Speaker of the House under Abraham Lincoln 1861-63. After the Civil War, he wanted even more change than his fellow Republicans so he started a group called the Radical Republicans. This group advocated for voting rights for newly freed slaves, and even considered taking voting rights away from slave owners.
Why am I sharing this history? It is amazing that Al, a descendent of the reformer Galusha Grow, has poured himself into countless areas of justice advocating for those who frequently have no voice. Could these credentials have been earned years ago by Galusha Grow?
God has opened the door for us to work across racial lines. Could Al carry generational credentials to work in racial reconciliation because of the blood, sweat, and tears shed by Grow?
What’s that in your genes? What credentials do you already possess because of battles fought and wars won generations ago? What are you meant to carry and what should you lay down? Watch for “God Sightings” that pop up to remind you of keys that you carry.
Throughout your life, God intends to show you constant “God Sightings.” Look for them daily. Journal God Sightings to chronicle them for you and generations to come. Keep your eyes and ears open and God will continually show Himself to you in surprising and creative ways.