His hair was white, slightly balding on top.
He wore a crisp white shirt and sensible shoes. Five teens followed him to the communion table, grabbed their crackers and grape juice and gathered around their papa. He pulled them close and they wrapped arms around each other, heads touching.
It was a sweet scene.
I leaned close to Richard and whispered, “I could watch that all day.”
The truth is that something long ago tugged inside at the scene. The young teen who didn’t know her grandparents well. Whose home life was chaotic. That girl who didn’t have a strong presence of faith to pull her close and let her know that she was safe.
Moments like that remind me of what a beautiful gift I’ve been given.
I wasn’t just healed — thank God for that amazing treasure — but the Lord has allowed me to give to my own children and grandchildren what that teen longed for desperately so long ago.
Maybe you are a pioneer Christian woman.
You were raised in brokenness but Jesus rescued you. You pray daily that you’ll give your child something greater. You’ve worked hard on your healing. When you kneel and place your hands on your babies to pray, it’s with a deep sense of gratitude.
Maybe, like me, it’s been many years and you’re now a grandma. You stand in church with a grandchild in your arms, your hands raised in worship. You look up and see their little hands going up and it wrecks you.
Absolutely wrecks you.
This is where I want to whisper some encouragement to that pioneer Christian woman.
Your children might not understand what a gift they are receiving and that’s okay
When you have something your whole life, it feels normal. The fact that it feels normal to your child or grandchild is part of that miracle. You – with God’s help — have given them the gift of growing up feeling safe and strong.
They might not understand. They might even take it for granted. Please don’t stress about that.
Keep loving them. Keep showing Jesus.
Your job is to simply plant seeds. God’s is to grow them.
The Lord will rescue and teach them in a hundred different ways as they grow into their faith. They might not understand your battles, but they’ll have their own. Because of your example and those prayers, they will know exactly where to turn.
There’s one more thing I want to say.
I’m proud of you.
You’re a generation changer.
You didn’t let your past keep you bitter or trapped in anger.
You allowed God to redeem your past.
One day when your great-great-great grandchildren look back they’ll point at you, the woman who took the family tree down a brand new road.
And even if your kids don’t totally get it, I do. I’m standing with my hands up, woot wooting with you, thanking Jesus.
Now, I just have one favor to ask of all us.
When we gather our children and grandchildren close, let’s take a quick look around.
If we see a child or a teen or a single mama or a woman watching from a distance — with that deep longing on his or her face — let’s open the circle just a little wider and invite them in.