I recently received a designated title that will stick with me until the day I draw my last breath: “Grandpa.” Oh, I’ve had friends walk this path before me, but now their odd behaviors don’t seem so odd any more. Today marks the four month anniversary of our grandson’s entrance into our lives. Some of you know this kind of excitement too.
Even before he arrived, his mom and dad provided the grandparents-in-waiting with something to hold during the interim. We received a stuffed animal, which when squeezed, plays a digital recording of our grandson’s heart beating while he was waiting for his debut inside of his mom. Now, when I hold my grandson in my arms, I feel as if I am holding a miracle. The heartbeat is now a person.
I listen for the sounds he makes and feel the rhythm of his breathing. Though COVID-19 put our meetings on a temporary pause, I now have held him ( again), fed him, cradled him in my arms while he napped, and yes – I have even been down on the floor acting grandpa-foolish with him. I offer no apologies. It’s the kind of thing we do when we are foolishly in love with someone.
In a world of talking heads, and satellite radio, the late Henri Nouwen reminds us of the necessity of being, versus doing. Being often begins in waiting and in listening.
There is a beautiful story in the Old Testament where the prophet stands
at the mouth of a cave and the Lord is passing. There is thunder, and the
Lord is not in the thunder. There is an earthquake, and the Lord is not in
the earthquake. There is fire, and the Lord is not in the fire. Then there is
the still, small voice, and the Lord is in that voice. [I Kings 19: 11-13]
The voice is very sensitive. It can be very quiet. It is sometimes hard to
hear. But the voice of love is already in you. You may have already heard
it. Start trying to hear that voice. Get quiet, and spend some time trying to
hear it. Listen. It says, “I love you,” and calls you by name. It says, “Come,
come. Follow me.”
As we begin this new chapter of journeying together, with Jesus, I invite us to follow Jesus example – the three essential practices he embraced which hold the promise of shaping us as his disciples [see Luke 6: 12-19] Jesus “practiced” or “made space for God,” through: solitude…..community…..and compassionate service……
Dear Lord, Be with me today. Listen to my confusion and help me know how to live it. I don’t know the words. I don’t know the way. Show me the way. You are a quiet God. Help me to listen to your voice in a noisy world. I want to be with you. I know you are peace. I know you are joy. Help me to be a peaceful and joyful person. These are the fruits of living close to you. Bring me close to you, dear Lord. Amen.
Still In ONE Peace,