Greg's Broccoli

The room was quiet as loved ones waited all around. The terrible illness that so savagely attacked his system had taken its course. The respirator had been removed due to a loss of brain function and Greg’s father laid his ear to his son’s chest and waited. He listened to his last heartbeat and through his tears announced, “That’s it, he is with Jesus now”. And so it was that on November 11, 2000, at 10 years of age, Gregory David Price left us and entered the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To say that his parents were brokenhearted would be totally inadequate. This is a level of pain that cannot be understood by those of us who have not experienced it.

I remember Greg in many ways; from his birth to the day I became his first principal in school. I cherish a special memory of him as a young child when he visited my home and discovered my garden. You see, he was a committed broccoli devotee and was amazed to see the stuff in its original agricultural state. This event occurred near the end of the growing season that summer in Michigan.

I promised him that the next season I would grow a row of “Greg’s Broccoli” that would be exclusively reserved just for him. He never let me forget that promise. In the spring he was looking for broccoli even before it was time, in Michigan, for planting. Once we did get those plants in the ground, this three year old could hardly wait for them to grow. He would check on the progress of his broccoli each week at church or whenever he would see me.
What a joy it was to see him that summer standing by the garden with a large head of broccoli in each hand, held up in a victory stance. The simple pleasure of watching a child realizing the good feeling that comes at the time of harvest is one that will be treasured always. It is needless to say that Greg visited his plants several times that summer to continue the harvest of his beloved broccoli. He continued his work on this special project until the growing season was over. I sold the house with the garden and life moved on.

The Price family moved on to another ministry in Wisconsin and my personal contact with Greg was forever changed. I hope I had a godly influence on the life of this wonderful little boy. I know he had a profound influence on mine. His short life reminded me of the importance of never missing an opportunity to show grace to others, when it is in your power to do so.

Some might think that Greg was just a tender plant that didn’t live long enough to bear fruit, but I would beg to disagree. Greg loved the Lord and prayed for friends and neighbors that they too would come to love God like he did. He was given a gift of life that was only ten years in length, but he used that gift to God’s glory. His life was a blessing to all who knew him.

David and Sondra have served the Lord in various forms of ministry their entire lives and they trust in God’s sovereign plans. And yet, they still grieve over the loss of their beloved son Greg. Those that love deeply grieve greatly. It was heartbreaking for them to search through old pictures for this story. They are looking forward to that great coming day when they see Jesus face-face. Who do you think might be the next one they will want to see?

If you have a child or grandchild or even a youthful neighbor or church kid, enjoy every moment of their youth that you can. We are not promised more than today and the precious moments it provides. The Bible tells us that life is like a vapor that is here for only a little time and then vanishes away. We would all do well to use our lives as faithfully as did this little boy, Gregory David Price.

Isn’t God’s grace a wonderful thing?

Roger Allen Cook

I love to write stories about God’s grace.  If you have a story I should consider, please contact me at:    

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A Parent's Prayer

Written with thoughts of Kyle, Kevin, Greg, Libi and all children and their families who face major childhood illnesses and disabilities. It is amazing how God uses them to bless our lives with their love and remind us of how much for which we have to be thankful. Do you know of a family in these circumstances who needs you to faithfully remember them in prayer?
Dear Lord, I need Your help.
As You know my child is ill.
My heart is heavy within me.
I come now seeking Your will.

You have given him to me
Showing Your grace so plain.
I know You want the best for us
Even when I witness his pain.

Oh, God, my child is so fearful
Of doctors and tests and such.
Though I desire to help him
I find I am afraid just as much.

He tries to understand it all
And just why he must endure.
He looks to me for comfort,
But I can’t provide the cure.

You know all about suffering
Watching Your Son on earth,
Bleeding and dying for our sin,
Providing for the new birth.

Give me strength in this crisis
As I stand by my ailing child,
To hold him while he is crying
With arms so loving and mild.

Please send to us each hour
A touch of Your special grace,
And help my child to trust You
In all the trials we face.

Hold his hand, hold his heart,
This tender lamb so small.
Oh, lead us Gentle Shepherd,
And love us through it all.

Roger Allen Cook