It’s always great to see a new parent with their first baby. You can see the surprise and wonder in their eyes as they look at the little toes and precious face and listen to the first sounds. “Little junior is so smart and advanced… he’s in the 90th percentile for height… he’s probably going to be a basketball player or a Rhodes Scholar or both…..” All of this is reinforced by the grandparents as they notice not only the wonderful grandbaby but also their own little baby who’s now a mother or father.
Today is the Memorial for Joachim and Anne, parents of Mary and “the grandparents” of Jesus. I’m not exactly sure how that works…. I guess Anne is the maternal grandmother of Jesus, but Joachim must be the maternal step-grandfather of Jesus. This is getting a bit complicated.
Hmmmmmmm, I wonder if they ever took Jesus out for pizza or a burger? I just took a few of my younger grandsons to White Castle….. I know what some people think of the little square burgers, but they do taste great. Two things they’ll remember about their grandfather is that he was a Cardinal fan and loved White Castles. I really hope they also remember that I loved Jesus.
Grandparents generally bring a broader perspective to tough situations; hopefully not overreacting to crises the way they may have done when younger…realizing that “not everything is the end of the world”. Others have said this more eloquently…. , i.e. Rudyard Kipling’s famous line, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, treat those two imposters just the same”. The verses in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 talks about troubles being temporary. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Grandparents can often remind the parents and grandchildren that because of the love of God, “all will be well with their soul”. Things may be a mess, but our wonderful God is a master at cleaning up our messes and working all things to the good. Even our worst days can be redeemed by our wonderful God. In that sense, God is the ultimate and perfect model for grandfathers & fathers ….. seeing all, overlooking most, and correcting a little…. bringing hope to hopeless situations …. making delicious lemonade out of the lemons of life. God always sees what’s possible and reachable for the person “stuck in the mud”.
So to all the grandparents out there, let’s keep our eyes on the Lord and be his instruments of peace for our family and beyond. Let’s bring kindness and gentleness and a smile and hope. Let them know that we are FOR THEM…we will stand with them thru the “stuff that happens” in life. And that is very good news.
“Lord,make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there’s despair hope.(St. Francis of Assisi)