A first-time grandfather ponders his deepest wishes and hopes for his grandson.
Posted in , Sep 6, 2021
Our first grandchild was born this summer, Silas Hamlin. What a delight. Even better: he only lives half a block away. We are close at hand to lend a hand. And then to bring him home to his loving parents when he’s done with us.
As I was holding him in my arms the other evening, I thought to myself, “What prayers could this child use? What are my deepest wishes for him?”
May he always know he’s loved. I pray he grows up knowing and feeling so loved that he takes it for granted, as I did. You don’t even wonder about it—not until you’re all grown up and then you look back and say, “Wow, what a gift that was.” The gift that helps us understand and accept God’s enduring love.
Give this child endless curiosity. At just a couple of months I can see it already. The way Silas gazes up at sky when he’s in his stroller, the peering look he gives his parents, an exploring finger wrapped around one of my fingers. May that curiosity serve him well as he discovers the wonders of God’s world.
Guide this grandchild through the best of friends. He’s got wonderful parents who will teach him much and have already established a happy household, but there comes a time when any kid looks to his peers for models of behavior—especially in their teen years. Great friends with good values keep them on the right track (how true that was for his father, our son Tim). Bring the right friends into Silas’s life.
Uphold this child in a faith community. We couldn’t have raised our own children without the help of our church, with other parents teaching Sunday school, with a family togetherness every Sunday morning, with worship and praise and Bible readings. Sometimes on a Sunday, I’d see them fidgeting in church and think, “They haven’t heard a word.” And then to my surprise, they’d ask a question inspired by a sermon that I thought went right over their heads. You can’t really second-guess God.
Help me be the grandparent my grandchild needs. I’m in complete awe—and much humbled—when I think of all that my parents did as grandparents. The trips they took each grandchild on, the gifts they gave at Christmas and birthdays, the listening ear they always offered. Help me be as generous and kind as they always were. No wonder our children always ran into their open arms.
Let Silas know hope. As Carl Sandburg once said, and others have said, “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” It’s easy to become discouraged at some of the dire news in the world and the pessimistic hopes for the future. But to believe in God is to believe in hope. To live by it. Silas, my hopes are always with you. Amen.