I’m on grandma duty. Perhaps you are too. Maybe it’s virtual these days…or maybe you are a surrogate grandma for another. Not to exclude grandpa here as he just left after spending several days alongside our new little grand as well.
Today is day sixteen out of the 30 days promised. My heart says to stay forever, but I must let go and trust. I must trust that other arms will hold, other smiles will bless, and those who are part of the family of God will give the little one what is needed.
Day one was fun. The newness of entering into this world was remarkable. Tis a gift to be invited into the lives of our adult children.
When children are little, they receive what is given because they have little say in the matter.
Now, as adults, they may choose to have grandma on board or not…and when they do say come on down or over…tis a gift. They could have chosen the child center waiting with arms wide open to hold their little one during these days of transition; but, they didn’t. They chose grandma.
Grandma knows what a privilege it is to carry. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound when this one cries to be fed. I get to feed. How sweet the sound when the little one cries to be changed. I get to change. How sweet the sound when the little one whimpers, nap time is near. I get to place this child in the crib for a bed.
Today, he awoke and looked around. Yesterday he awoke, but not like today. It’s as if suddenly the world round him came into view as neck careened from side-to-side. Eyes locked upon the book case, mantle, kitchen counter, and although not certain, I believe he is now noticing bottle coming his way. Quick movement gives a hint as hands tilt upwards to grab hold of the goods.
It’s the little things…
Grandma heats up left over soup for supper so the couple returning home will have something to eat and one less chore to do. It’s not much, but an offering it is. I toss what little laundry there is into the washer and fold what I can as they have things under control and truth-be-told, they don’t need me. I simply offered, and they accepted. Giving a little respite to the young couple adjusting to this part of life is a gift. It’s a gift to grandma because they received her offering.
What good is a gift given if one does not receive it? I suppose it’s no different than all gifts given. One simply need receive the love shown in the form demonstrated. And since we’ve all had True Love demonstrated and given as a gift, we know it well.
Or do we?
1 John 4:19 tells about it in written form and how we are actually able to love at all. “We love because He first loved us.”
John 15:13 goes a little deeper…if that is possible. “Greater love has no one than someone lay down his life for his friends.”
John 3:16 shows us how this love was demonstrated real time. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
And finally, Romans 5:8 proves how deep and wide this love reaches. “God shows His love for us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
What a beautiful thing it is to not only give, but to receive what’s been given…not in our doing…but in what He has done. Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug, OblSB
This article was first published in Theology in the Trenches, a column written by oblate Kathleen Kjolhaug. Posted with permission. Read more articles on her blog, Theology in the Trenches.