Cadence Make a Christmastime Call at Lala and Papa Rich’s house. December, 2011.
Hiram’s Sweet Gift
I’m so glad you’re joining us for Thanksgiving, Hiram, I said to our friend as he swiveled round in the pew to chat before worship began. He had graced our day with his kind spirit last year, and we were delighted to know he would return.
I’m especially excited because we have Cadence for Thanksgiving, I went on. Such an innocent sentence, right? One of our grandchildren will be spending Thanksgiving at our home. Holiday visits are a normal thing, delightful but not unusual.
I remember when I was seven or so, Hiram replied, and nothing was as good as a visit to my grandmother’s house. I loved to visit her. It was always so special to spend time at her house.
I sat gobsmacked in my pew. You know, for a reasonably bright person, I can be pretty dense. Consider: I was blessed to have close relationships with my own grandparents. All four were still living until I was 21 years old, and the last of them, my maternal grandfather, lived until I was 35. We all lived within an hour or two of one another’s homes, so I saw them often. I adored each of them. Grandpa Seiler made stilts out of empty coffee cans and string for me and hung a wooden swing in the tree in their back yard when we came. Grandma Seiler set out a Kellogg’s variety pack of cereals before she went to bed on Saturday night so my sister and I could eat before the grownups awoke. Grandma Downs took me for walks on the beach and made tapioca pudding. Grandpa Downs took us out for pizza. Much to my mother’s mortification, he allowed us to run and belly-flop on the (expensive, raw silk) castered ottomans in his living room so we could surf across the carpet. I treasured each of them.
It had never, ever occurred to me that our grandchildren might feel that same special closeness to Rich and me. It’s just about unimaginable that any human might love me as dearly as I loved my grandparents. I never thought that our own grands might anticipate their visits here as much as I looked forward to trips to my own grandparents’ homes.
Grandparent/grandchild love has a unique tenderness. I think it is the closest glimpse we’re allowed on this earth of how deeply God loves us.
Think of that, please. The Creator of the universe is joyously, unconditionally, in love with you. And with me.
Hiram’s words showed me why the Lord says we’re to receive His Kingdom as children.
13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.
Mark 10:13-16 (NASB)