God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.Colossians 1:27
On Friday this boy (the same one who first signed me up for the grandfather club back in 2011) turned an incredible, unbelievable nine years old.
Or, as David put it to his mother – thereby making her cry: “You know what? This is my last birthday in the single digits!”
David is a big third-grader. He is smart, he is creative, his is inquisitive, he is respectful and – most important of all – he has a huge heart and he is kind.
It goes without saying that the first grandchild always becomes a guide into a new way of relating to children, and a companion in learning to appreciate the magical realm of grandparenthood. And it really is magical.
This is it!
I think what grabs me about being a grandfather is the perspective of time. Over the years Rebekah and I have had time to grow, time to understand and accept the invitation to be stewards of our own amazing children, time to learn a few things along the way, time to learn so much more about each other, time to experience the tsunami wave of raising a family – just trying sometimes to keep our heads above water, time to gift them into the world, and then time to stand back and be both humbled and deeply satisfied at the incredible human beings our children (Andrew and Naomi) have become. Then, as a direct result of all that growing, and loving, and falling down, and thrashing around, and time, and becoming, we have seen three (soon to be four) more new beings emerge from the sum of it all, bubbling to the surface as raw, spectacular promises of what is possible in and through time, along with the merciful grace of God.
This one was the first. Soon to be followed by his sister, Beks. Doesn’t this just make your heart sing? Doesn’t it make your soul ache for the day that all children are so nurtured and so loved? Doesn’t it make you so grateful for life, and the promise for tomorrow that is held in those bright, shining eyes.
Our eyes can shine like that! I see it every day. It is the shine of promise and of grace. It is why I will always live into hope.
In love, and because love makes all of this possible – DEREK
(Photos – once again – courtesy of photographer/mom Naomi Campbell)
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.