On Being A Granddad
So I am now 3+ weeks into this granddad thing and thought I’d write a little about my experience thus far. I’m still new at this so bear with me as I have about 7 things I want to briefly think out loud about.
1) On my Granddads – I really did not know my granddads at all. My Dad’s dad died before I was born. I’m thinking he was somewhere around 57 years old. My Mom’s dad died when I around 4 years old so I only have vague memories of him. I’m thinking he was also around 57 or so. All that to say that I find myself becoming selfish. In my early 30’s after my kids had been born, and knowing my family history (my Dad also died at 42), I began praying that the Lord would give me 50 years so that I could at least see my own kids grow up and I could invest in them while they were still in our home. So now that 50 has come and gone (I’m 54) I find myself thanking God for the years he has given me but also praying now that I’ll have 25 more years so that I can invest in my grand-kids. I’d kind of like Grayson and others that may follow to know me.
2) On waiting for the birth – Christy was in labor for about 29 hours. I was at the hospital for 14 of those. Not sure who had the harder time waiting – especially after she had her epidural. Okay, I know that it was harder for her but I am not good at just sitting and waiting. And it’s really tough on a dad knowing what his favorite daughter is going through and wanting to protect her and make sure that everything is okay. But not much I could do. So Art and Cindy (Chad’s folks) and I hung out in the waiting room together. Mostly I watched other people. Sometimes I read. I even napped a bit. But mostly I just sat… and waited.
3) On the miracle of birth – 3:30 am November 17, 2012 is the official time of birth. Pretty amazing to think about all that has to happen for a baby to be born. It just seems that there is so much that could go wrong in the process that I am astounded that much more often than not nothing does go wrong. Can you imagine what a baby must think as he goes from a nice cozy, warm, dark, quiet home and is literally pushed out into this cold crazy, noisy, bright world. No wonder they cry. Grayson was born with a little hitch in his cry – no big deal just needed to get his lungs cleared out. New birth is an amazing thing. But we’ll get to that later.
4) On choosing a granddad name – Evidently it is not in my power to choose what my grand-kids will call me. I came up with a bunch of suggestions that my daughter has exercised her veto power on. What’s not to like about about Saba (Hebrew) or Zeyde (Yiddish) – both of which I thought would honor my Jewish heritage. So my next 2 choices are Pop Pop (which was my fraternal grandfather’s name) or Pops. Both are still on the table, but it may not matter – or so I am told. It may come down to whatever Grayson decides to call me. Who knew that it was up to a kid that can’t even talk?
5) On a “full house” – Christy and Chad came back from India in August and because they did not know “what next” they have been living with us until that piece of the puzzle is figured out. We have somewhat of an upstairs apartment that gives them lots of privacy but gives us lots of time with them. It has been a real treat to have them here since Grayson’s birth and to get to spend bonus time with him, knowing that it may not be long before he is not even living in the same town as we are. I’m already missing him. I’ll probably miss Christy and Chad too, but I’ve been led to believe that once grand-kids come along the kids have to take a back seat.
6) On original sin, new birth, and the gospel – So one of the things that I’ve enjoyed doing is just sitting on the sofa with Grayson in my lap. Such a cute, content little guy. I have to keep reminding myself that this cute little boy is also a cute little sinner. That just as he inherited his stunning good looks from my side of the family, he also has inherited a sin nature that will be reason enough to destin him for hell. In biblical terms it’s called the doctrine of original sin. It doesn’t take take long for our sin natures to manifest themselves. People look at little babies and say “isn’t he just a perfect little thing.” Far from it. And he will venture far from God unless he experiences new birth. The penalty for having a sin nature is death. The remedy is to be born not just physically but spiritually. Or to say it like Jesus said it, “You must be born again.” Hence Grayson’s need to hear the gospel and to see it lived out by his parents and his grandparents and the community of believers he grows up with. With this in mind I go on to #7.
7) On praying for Grayson – Soon after Grayson was born our families gathered together in the delivery room and prayed for this little guy. he had already been the subject of countless prayers preceding his birth and will be the benefactor of countless more prayers throughout his life. Later that same day I sat down and wrote out a prayer for my grandson that expressed what we have been praying and will continue to do in the years to come…
Thank you for your grace expressed to me and to my family everyday. And today I want to say thank you again for the extraordinary gift of grace that you have given us through the birth of Grayson. Thank you for your protection for he and Christy through the pregnancy, and through the labor and delivery.
And now as begins his life I want to ask that as he grows up that You would strengthen him with power through Your Spirit in his inner being so that Christ may dwell in his heart through faith. Father, even today on his BIRTHday, would You prepare his heart to believe the transforming word of the gospel. Would You call him to be your child, adopt him as Your son, make him an heir of Your grace.
And I pray that as he responds to You and Your gracious invitation to Life, that You would root him and establish him in the incomparable love of Christ – that You would empower him along with all the saints to grasp just how wide and long and high and deep is the love of our all Sufficient Savior, and to know this all surpassing love in such a way that he is filled to the measure of all of Your fullness.
Father, would you use this little boy to be a mighty instrument of grace to a world that is lost and full of despair. Use him to bring hope to people who feel hopeless. Use him to bring joy to people who live in the depths of sorrow. Use him to bring the gospel to people who are bound for an eternity separated from You.
Use Chad and Christy to model for him what it means to know You and to find his life in You. Use them to teach him grace and truth rightly apportioned. Use them to nurture him and to invest Your Word in his life. And may Your Word bear fruit in his life that is immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.
All this I pray in the name of the One who gave His life for me, Your glorious Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus.
(written November 17, 2012)