“...after this, Job live 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations.” Job 42:16 -Pastor Bill
We have grandchildren. I have a picture on my wall in my office which I look at every time I am sitting at my desk. It was taken when Billy and Caytie were in high school. Caytie graduated from college this year and Billy is a senior in college. The youngest was a little girl sitting on Billy’s lap and now she is eleven. They are growing up. Several have started high school this year and Emily starts college. I love my grandkids dearly. Cathy has her license plate marking her grandkids.
Now they are tall, grown up. Liz is so tall that if she wears high heels, she looks me straight in the eyes. I miss the babies, the cuddling, the story telling, the cuteness of little kids learning to talk. Rocking them to sleep and just holding them while they sleep is such a pleasure. But now it is cell phones, texting, loud music, styles, friends, and school. Grandparents are those people you see now and then giving you a sloppy kiss, asking about school, and generally looked at and then back to being a teen. They are the fogeys from another space and time. As Garrett once stated, Cathy and I were married in Bible times. Someday they will all come around again as they get older, but the babies are gone and the adults have arrived. They are really good kids, but I miss the babies.
Life for the past several years has been extremely difficult in many ways. Stress has had its effects with blood pressure, rosacea, and worry. Working through all that has been a run of faith and trust. Sometimes we were just worn down. In the midst of good things, there were the tough things too. Sometimes in life you just wonder where you are. You question everything. Re-evaluating ministry, purpose, direction, decisions, everything is on the table for scrutiny. Tired. Tired is the word.
Last Christmas, a surprise and happy announcement was made by my granddaughter, Caytie and her husband, Joe. They announced that they were expecting. The baby would be their first child, Bill and Missy’s first grandchild, Cathy and I, our first great grandchild, and my mom and dad’s first great, great grandchild. There would be five generations. We were all pleased, thrilled.
So Cate marched in graduation carrying the baby, fully expecting. She was cute. Then came July and our great granddaughter was born. When we walked into the room and there was this baby just hours old, something happened to me. I fell in love again.
Isabelle Faith, all 9 lbs., 3 Oz., was life again for me. It was almost a born again experience for me. As I held her, I realized that life was worth living. She breathed hope into me again. I cannot describe what another generation has done to me. After all the darkness, here was light in the smile of a newborn. After all the turmoil, here was peace in the tranquility of a sleeping babe.
Since then, I have felt better. I love to see her. I love to cuddle her, hold her. She ministers to me in some kind of way. When I look at her, often I get choked up and cannot talk.
What do we see in new life? What wonders are there? What does the human spirit feel when new life is born? What makes us as grandparents rejoice and dote over our grandkids? My mother as the great, great grandmother was jubilant at the announcement of the coming child. Is there some kind of spiritual blessing in “be fruitful and multiple” that is for more than the parents? I believe there is. I have wondered, “How can people live without family?” How lonely. How incomplete. Quelle Triste!
The word of God speaks of the blessings of generations. He tells how our family can be blessed for generations to come. He speaks of the honor of wisdom and the gray head. He also says that he sets the solitary in the family.
“For unto us a child is born...” Isaiah says. He is speaking of the Messiah coming; yet I feel that scripture while ministering hope to Israel also has spoken to me today in the cute little face of my great granddaughter.
I have her picture on my lock screen of my iPhone. Every time I open the phone, there is her face. I cannot but smile or say “ahhhh.”
I wonder if God does the same and even more when any of us are born? He does rejoice over us with singing. Could the tragedies of abortion break God’s heart and rob grandparents of the joy I feel? Is the meaning of life wrapped in the beating heart of a child?
All I know is that for me, something spiritual happened and continues to happen through this little girl. I told Cate that I fell in love with another woman and her name is Belle, my great granddaughter.