He arrived somewhat portentously during a full moon on Friday the 13th with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. The skillful ministrations of the four midwives in attendance made short work of the problem and a beautiful auburn-haired baby boy made his entrance into this life as we know it. Simon was ecstatically welcomed with armfuls of love and visions of hope for his future.
Over the next several days, I watched and listened as Simon’s mother rocked him, sang songs and softly whispered to him of the discoveries and joys he would experience in his life ahead. She told him of books he would read, foods he would relish, bicycles he would ride and rivers upon which he would canoe. Simon’s mother spoke of people he would love, animals he would cherish, sunsets he would behold and laughter that would light up the wonderful world he had entered.
As Simon’s grandmother, I experienced gladness, pride and fulfillment along with the relief that I could enjoy my grandson without the parental dilemma of sleep deprivation. I look forward to the delightful duties of introducing Simon to our farm: gathering eggs, milking cows, and harvesting honey from the beehives. I dream of taking long hikes in the forest to identify birds and trees while foraging for edible plants. I have blissful thoughts of baking Simon his first pumpkin pie and tucking him into bed on overnight visits. I imagine sitting in the bleachers at his little league games and cheering each and every time he catches or hits a baseball. So much happiness to come!
And, yet…what will our world be like as Simon grows? He is off to a good start. Blessed with good health, Simon has two parents who are educated, financially secure, married to each other and committed to loving, nurturing and protecting their young son. In addition, Simon has two sets of doting grandparents, two older brothers and several aunts, uncles and cousins to round out his familial fortress. Many children do not possess such blessings.
But, beyond the security of food, shelter, clothing, and family, what else will Simon need to give peace and purpose to his life? I see the challenges ahead and know how trying they will be. He will experience scrapes and bruises to his knees as well as to his heart. He will face problems and be required to make choices. He will also make mistakes and endure guilt. There will be disappointments he will encounter and grief he will suffer.
Will Simon primarily seek entertainment and pleasure or will he find productive and virtuous activity to fill his days? Will he spend most of his time cloistered and gazing at screens in a virtual world or will he find knowledge and satisfaction in the natural world around him? Will he follow the whims of the ever changing popular culture or hearken to a universal truth? Will he grow to be a man of integrity, compassion and faith?
I want Simon one day to find life’s meaning. I want his zest for life to remain undiminished as he matures and encounters the emptiness that will eventually come. I want Simon to know Yahweh. And, knowing Him, he will heed His call. And, heeding His call, he will not let the world turn him away. And, by not turning away, not be lost in the void.
But, these are the musings and fears of a grandmother who forgets at times to trust in Yahweh and His purposes. In prayer I will give my worries and trepidations to Him while I joyfully watch this precious boy grow.
by: Debbie Reed