I’m in love. Again.
New love, the kind that gives me butterflies and bursts into my thoughts in the middle of my day, whether I’m in a meeting or responding to email. It’s representative of the way I felt when my wife Penny and I began dating more than 31 years ago. It’s also how I felt when both of my sons were born. It’s an overwhelming sense of care and concern for another, a desire to be with that person, to hold them and to just look at them.
The object of my love now is a sweet little girl named Lily – my first grandchild. I’ve heard for many years about the love of a grandparent. And until I became one in May, I questioned the veracity of the claims. One grandma even told me, “My daughter now knows that she’s not No. 1 with me anymore. Yeah, she’s my only child, but she knows those grandbabies are my top priority now.” Said with a laugh, but clearly not joking.
One of the most poignant comments since Lily was born came from a friend of my younger son, Nate, 15. (By the way, Uncle Nate is crazy about Lily. He loves that little girl and can’t wait to see her and hold her. He thinks her smooshy face is one of the coolest things God ever created.) Apparently after Nate described his feelings for Lily, one of his close friends said, “That’s the way God feels about you.”
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for this little girl. I can’t wait to be with her, to hold her, to snuggle with her. I can’t wait for the day when she runs to me and calls me “Papa.” I can’t wait for her to want to be with me as much as I want to be with her. I already melt at the thought.
I’m beginning to get glimpses of how delighted God is when we try to get to know Him, when we seek Him out, when we pursue a close relationship with Him.
One of my dreams is to take Lily fishing. I don’t know if she’ll like it. But whether she does or not, whether the fish are biting or not, I’m looking forward to times we can talk, when she can tell me what’s going on in her life, and share both the things she’s excited about and the things that bother her. I know what my response will be: I’m gonna love her no matter what.
I’m honored to be a grandpa, and grateful to my son Zach and my daughter-in-law Emily for giving me one of the great desires of my life for several years. But I’m also honored to be loved this much, and more, by a God who made me, knows me – good and not so good – and loves me anyway.
Happy Father’s Day – from and to our Heavenly Father.