“Papa can Kinleigh have a chicken?”
My granddaughter said this as I was holding her in my arms before securing her into the car seat for her ride home.
I was trying to convince her that she would be able to come back to our house soon and see the new baby chicks again. I don’t think she thought my promises were sufficient to satisfy her deep and almost uncontrollable glee that she experienced holding one of those fluffy little chirpers.
In fact, she had such a death grip on that poor little cluck, I am sure he thought he was a goner! She wanted to take one home and add it to her collection of “friends”.
This little question reflected one of the joys of parenthood that returns to us in second coming glory as grandparenthood.
Being present as guide and doorway to the joys of light in life is one of the most meaningful gifts of being with those born anew to the world. It is true in all the realms of life, body and spirit, Jesus touched on this joy when he said:
“I am the light that shines through the cosmos; if you walk with Me, you will thrive in the nourishing light that gives life and will not know darkness.” -Jesus (Jn 8:12)
Thriving in the nourishing light, does give life. To be present with someone when that moment occurs is magical. It’s a sacred duty for the one who knows what is true, good and beautiful, to share together with the one who has yet to come to know, taste, see, hear or touch.
This is the joy I have known in the work of pastoring that I have done since I was a young man, it’s the spark of eternal fire that I miss the most these days. It seems joy has been replaced with far too much contention, debate, betrayal, dismissiveness, absence, abandonment and familiarity.
“Come and See” used to be one of the most alluring Gospel invitations, but today, it seems too many are deaf, defensive or distracted.
When Kinleigh takes my hand, it’s an act of trust and expectation. It’s a gesture of safe anticipation that we are going somewhere good or I am leading her away from something bad.
It’s a surrender of gentle love.
Sure there are moments when she has something she is convinced is better to do than obey the instructions of guidance that hand holding secures, but in most moments it’s an act of togetherness that promises a small joy of some kind.
It seems this is often our greatest challenge in walking with God and with one another too. Becoming like little Children was an absolute truth that Jesus said was needed to ‘enter’ the Kingdom (Matt. 18:3).
I understand this more and more as I grow older and see the joy of life returning in some…and fading in others.
When is the last time you took the Lord’s hand in some form or another?