2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (NRSV)
I am 73 years old, with four children (three boys and a girl), eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. My husband went to be with the Lord eight years ago. My native language is Finnish.
My three-and-a-half-year-old great-grandson is extremely interested in family photos. Daniel knows where the albums are kept, pulling them out, and then asking to look at them. We set the albums on the coffee table, and, side by side, page by page, we spend a great deal of time looking for whom we might know. Daniel noticed, in some of the pictures, the wall hangings and pictures great-mummo has. "There is that one," he laughed. We came to pages with pictures of funerals. I was not sure how we would get past them. We had a long talk about life and dying, God and heaven. His eyes were wide open, and his little hand was reaching mine. And when I folded my hands as if to pray, he did the same.
I was touched by this moment. It produced a bridge for our mortality. I began to see wisdom in life/death contemplation. Silence spoke volumes. When we finally closed the book, we were comforted in the knowledge that Jesus has prepared a dwelling place for us to live when we die.
Almost as if to end our talk, I said, "I hope you will bring a flower to my grave." "But I don't know how to get there." "Your daddy will know." Tears welled in my eyes when he said enthusiastically, "And great-papa too." Sighing, I said, "Great-papa is with Jesus." "Are you going to be with Jesus, great-mummo?" "Yes. And Jesus waits to see you in heaven as well."
Great-papa never saw Daniel in his lifetime. I wished it had been so. But the old photo album became the tie between the generations. I like to think of these moments as growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Grandparents and great-grandparents are greatly enriched in the joy of the little ones. God has blessed us all.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for means to convey a tie that binds to the next generation. Keep them safe; tend and nourish them. Forsake them not in life or in death, till we meet again. Amen.