Mary, my four year old sister, and Larry, my four year old son, were quiet and that usually meant trouble was brewing. I peeked into the bedroom where they were playing. I was horrified to see the two were coloring on the walls. My voice mounted in volume as I began explaining to them that they couldn’t be doing that.
My dad entered the bedroom that belonged to my mother and him. He asked, “What is the yelling about?”
I explained that these two little imps were coloring on the walls. Dad said, “Oh, is that all? Mary does that all the time. It is OK.” He added, “When she gets through this stage, we’ll just re-paint the bedroom.”
I couldn’t believe this was the same man I grew up around! My siblings and I were never allowed to enter our parent’s bedroom, let alone color on the walls.
I told Dad that I couldn’t let them color on the walls because when I got back to my home in Texas, Larry would think that it was all right for him to color on my walls.
This incident was my first encounter of watching a new grandparent. Since then, I’ve watched countless people be transformed from parent to grandparent.
Just like Doris who worked with me. She raised five boys and the first one was expecting their first child. I talked to her several times about the upcoming event, but she never seemed to be excited about it. Then the big day came when she got the word that her son was taking his wife to the hospital. I asked her, “Don’t you want to go and be with them.”
She replied, “No, it isn’t a big deal. I’ll just go there after work.”
The next day I went into her office and asked, “Did you get to go to the hospital last night?”
Doris smiled the biggest smile I ever saw on her and said “yes.” Then she added, “I have pictures!”
Then there is the story about Harold and Sue. They just found out they were going to be first-time grandparents and asked the preacher to announce it in church. They were so excited and told everyone who would stand still about their upcoming blessed event. The first time they brought the new baby to church, they were introducing him to everyone. Harold says, “Oh, having a grandchild is the most fun!”
There is a Welsh Proverb that says, “Perfect love sometimes does not come till the first grandchild.” At least it comes then, but love is not for grandparents only. These words are found in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (NIV)
Jesus demonstrated his incredible love not only as he walked this earth, but also his sacrifice on the cross. Perhaps the closest we get to loving another as he loved is when we love our grandchildren.
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