I managed to stifle the sobs but I couldn’t contain my tears. Flowing freely down my face, they washed over me with the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Joy splashed from my eyes as I watched my grandson place one hand over his heart and lift his other hand into the air as these words slipped through his lips, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” Joining his tiny voice with over a hundred other precious voices was too much for me. Through the years, I have loved and taught many of the other children in kindergarten. And so I sat, unashamed, in the audience on Grandparent’s Day as both teacher and nana, and wept.
This is my twentieth year to teach at St. Joseph Christian School. That means I have sat onion-eyed, as my dear friend likes to say, many times before. There is something sweet and inspiring, listening to a children’s chorus singing about God and praising Him. But this year, it went beyond the sweet simplicity of precious voices. It ventured further than the inspiration of the beautiful hymn. This year, my grandchild’s voice was added to the mix. The unexpected child born before I thought it was time; the unexpected gift of joy and hope wrapped in a little boy’s body, and given for such a time as this.
My daughter shared the news when she was a senior in high school. It was not the way I wanted to join the grandparent club. I am learning that God’s sovereign grace doesn’t always care what I want, yet always cares for me. Through prayer, God tenderly worked in our family to embrace and welcome this gift.
Unexpected to us, but divinely expected and given by God.
My grandson is learning to read and love Jesus in the classroom next to mine. I slipped next door for a few minutes to join him and Papa T in the grandparents’ activities. We played “guess what I made with my playdoh” and shared some laughs together as he sat on my lap before returning to my room to wrap things up there. When the festivities of the day were over, I walked hand in hand from the building with my gift. He climbed into the booster seat in the back of my car. We were both tired and quietly we buckled our seatbelts. His small voice broke the silence first. “I don’t know why I was crying.”
Surprised that he would bring it up, my mind immediately replayed what I thought I’d seen during the program, the quick wiping of his eyes while singing,
“Do you mean while you were singing?”
“Yes, I don’t know why tears were coming.”
“Sometimes when I sing to Jesus, I cry because I love him so much. God’s Holy Spirit is so strong I can feel it and sometimes I cry.”
“I think that’s what happened to me.”
More tears flowed; in gratitude to the One whose grace fills my heart, and taught me to hope: hang onto possible endings. In His sovereign timing, Romans 8:28 was our memory verse for the week.
Father, you really do work all things for good of those who love you, who are called according to your purpose. Your timing is amazing, your love overwhelming, and your grace really is sufficient for me. Thank you for your gift of hope and helping me to hang onto possible endings.
What is God doing in your life that brings tears of joy to your eyes?
©Cindy Richardson 2016