Our first grandchild (Sam), is a week old. So far, I think I’ve done okay in my efforts to avoid being the obnoxious grandparent who acts like they are the first person ever to have a grandchild or that their little darling is somehow more special than the little darlings of others. It hasn’t been easy at times. I’m a teaching minister and several well-meaning people have encouraged me to make public comments or include a picture in one of my PowerPoint presentations. I’m not saying those things would be wrong, but I’m a fairly self-contained person when it comes to that kind of thing—it just isn’t my style. Plus, I’m not sure that for me it wouldn’t be putting at least one foot on that slippery slope toward obnoxiousness.
That said, Sam is wonderfully precious. There’s something about newborns—they are so fresh, innocent, and pure. There’s something incredibly renewing (even restorative), about being around them. You see how beautiful life from the Father is and it makes you wish for a world that is more like that. More to the point, it makes you wish you were more like that.
Seeing Sam and thinking of his mother (Amy) and father (Drew) enjoying this bliss reminds me of when Amy was a week old and Janice and I had our time. It was such a joy to come home from work and see her. She didn’t do a whole lot but she didn’t have to. Newborns aren’t about doing, they’re about being. After months and months of anticipation, speculation and build up—they finally arrive. But even in their arrival there’s normally a fair amount of fanfare, so once all that’s over and they have finally settled in and down, that’s enough. You just enjoy them being there. After all, the doing will come in mega-watt amounts later on and you will long for a single moment of the time you basked in when they were newborn. Life’s distribution of tranquility is grossly uneven. That’s why when they get to the high-motor stage you must remember to look in on them when they are sleeping so you will be able to at least partially recapture the magical moments you had when they were first born.
I say all of the above to say that in my book, I’m not sure we can get any closer to heaven or God than when we hold a baby in our arms and gaze into its eyes or watch them sleep. Moses spoke face-to-face with God and the reflected glory was so great that he had to cover his face (Exodus 33-34). As far as I know, that hasn’t happened with any newborns that I’m aware of but it has made me wonder if germ prevention is the only reason the ob-gyn and their team put on masks before a delivery.
Welcome to the world, Sam. We’re glad you’re here. Thank you Father, for reminding us of our new birth when we were made fresh, innocent, and pure through Your Son. Help us to live a life that’s true to those roots.