So this happened Sunday morning! That’s right, Rebekah and I now have four beautiful grandchildren. And so, as is my tradition, I would like to take a few moments to say, “Welcome to Earth!”
His name is Geoffrey, Geoffrey William. Geoffrey managed to arrange for some high drama leading up to his birth by playing a game of, “I wonder what will happen if I scoot around backwards and then wrap this umbilical cord thingy around my neck? Oh darn, now I can’t move…”
It was like a premie version of, “Hold my beer and watch this!” I can already tell this one is going to be a lot of fun!
But first, a scripture:
Because of God’s tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79
These verses are from the song Zechariah sings in response to the birth of his son. And, as I pray for Geoffrey, they are prescient glimpses of God breaking in with light through the life of this beautiful new child.
Here we go:
Dear Geoffrey. You have been born into a most interesting world and at a uniquely challenging “moment” in history. Because of this you have an unprecedented opportunity to bring light, and hope, and promise into a difficult place and I have to tell you, you are already doing it!
That’s right, at a few moments after 11:00 Sunday morning, right after your grandmama Rebekah gave this benediction at the end of worship, you started to make a difference!
“Friends, another name for Jesus is Emmanuel; and what that means is that God is with us, where we are, right now. So now may the peace of Christ that transcends all of our human understanding keep our hearts and our minds in the knowledge and love of Christ Jesus, Emmanuel, our Lord. And the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descend upon all of us and wrap itself around us and fill us with his kind of peace, Amen.”– Rebekah Maul
In a sense, Geoffrey, you are a sign that God is with us. You are a blessing from God; you are one of the ways God is wrapped around us; and you are already beginning to fill us with the Jesus kind of peace.
We love you so much, and we can’t wait to receive you – as our grandson and as our brother in Christ.
Three weeks early and in need of some extra care:
At the moment (and for the next few days) Geoffrey is catching up on his need for oxygen by hanging out in an incubator in the NICU. “My own personal bubble,” he calls it.
Geoffrey weighed in at a healthy six pounds twelve ounces, but after pulling that stunt with the umbilical cord he is getting some extra help before he heads home.
But listen, Geoffrey Grandbaby of mine, here is one last thing. You are already all wrapped up in love, so think of the oxygen as breathing in love, light, mercy, grace, care, life, and promise.
No, don’t think of it, simply absorb it. Absorb the very breath of God that launched you into this world, and then breathe in our love all mingled together with the urgency of the creative impulse of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
That should do it. Let’s get this relationship going. I can tell already we’re going to be great pals.
Your Grandaddy, Derek
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.