By Curtis K. Shelburne
“Grandchildren,” someone has written, “are balm for grandparents’ souls.”
Though I joined the lofty ranks of “grandparenthood” less than two years ago, it took me only a few nanoseconds with the two most beautiful little girls in the world to feel that truth. If my heart is soaring already, just a glimpse of them lifts it a thousand feet higher; if my heart is hurting, I take one look at them and feel the Lord using those little souls to bring healing to mine.
The moment each of those little gals came into this world, it was a lesson on “unconditional” love. Before they could do a thing to “earn” my affirmation or approval, they had my total love. And they always will.
Quite literally by God’s grace, since I really believe what God says he thinks of me (and each of his children), I’ve generally found myself to be excellent company. One of the things, though, that I like least about me is that I seem to care too much what other people, besides the Master of us all, think. I know it’s impossible to please everyone, but I’ve always found that frustrating, and I’m frustrated that it frustrates me.
But those little girls put all of this into perspective and teach me something yet again. I want to please people appropriately, and I hope I’ve earned some respect, but, one smile from one of those little girls matters infinitely more to me than anyone else’s approval. Knowing what those two think of me is priceless balm to my soul. If you’ve got grandkids, you know exactly what I mean.
Our 22-month-old, little Brylan, just jabbers up a storm. I’ve never heard her say a single thing I disagreed with, and one “PawPaw!” from her makes my heart soar. Already at 4 months old, little Brenley is smiling and giggling at PawPaw at all the right times. I love it!
Recently, I was blessed to be able to speak and then to sing at the great church my younger brother serves. Our bunch, including the little girls (and except for Uncle Stephan in Uganda), were there. Brylan was saying, “PawPaw sing!” And when she saw the stained glass in the sanctuary, she began to jabber excitedly about “Jesus!” And, I’m quite sure, warmed His heart, too.
Her newest phrase is simple, but it says a lot. She loves it when the people she loves are together, and she doesn’t want any of them to ever leave. But we have to. And we kiss her and hug her, and slip out the door. And from behind the door, just before the tears start on both sides of it, we hear that sweet little voice, “PawPaw! MawMaw! I comin’!”
And she reminds me that real heart-healing is coming along with a time when all of God’s children are together and no one ever has to leave.
Dear Lord, we comin’!
Lord Jesus, come quickly
Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at