The role of grandpa fits me well. As a pastor there are children in my congregation that are around the same age as my grandchildren. I am drawn to them because I look into their eyes and see the smiles and tears of my own little ones far away in a distant land. I enjoy their laughter and sympathize with their desire to be held by their mothers. It stirs in my heart a longing to hold and play with Eva and Gabe. I have taken to practice on my church grandchildren.
They, however, are not a substitute for the children of my children. In two days Rebecca and I will be sitting in a plan that cannot travel fast enough to satisfy our hearts. Every second delays the time in which we will be able to engage the young smiles that wait for us. We, however, have not been idle. I must say that there is a conspiracy against grandfathers. I could not find one item of baby clothing that expressed my importance in their lives. Aunts received more attention than grandpa and that is just plain unacceptable. We purchased a few items for each child. I spent more time scouring the Apple App store to find age appropriate interactive storybooks. I found a few and hopefully Eva will be as enthralled with them as I. But toys and gadgets, clothes and bottles are only tokens of our appreciation for God’s gift of these two wonderful children. It will be the time spent holding, cuddling, giggling, crying and playing that will mean the most.
I am thankful that Josh and Alison are such wonderful parents who are sensitive to the calling of God on their lives. Their love for the Arab people and their desire to have an impact in their lives is cause for great rejoicing. However, it makes my role as a grandpa a little more challenging, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I thank God for the marvels of the internet that allows us to spend time with our children and grandchildren over great distances and feel that much closer and a part of their lives. For now we look with such anticipation to be there in person.
A friend today pointed out that there may be some unrest in the next week or so in Bahrain, but there would have to be a lot more then a little unrest to deter these two grandparents. Growing old has its down side, but it also has its upsides as well. God has created in us the desire to perpetuate our family line and there is an inexplicable joy that comes in seeing your children have children and raise them for the Lord.
My bags are packed, I am ready to go, the taxis waiting and that sound you hear overhead is the roar of our jet saying, “So long Aledo and Hello Bahrain.” Don’t worry we’ll be back; I left Tobi at the house. I’m just saying……