All I could see before me was a sea of old men. Standing in the dining room of my grandfather’s nursing home my eyes scanned the crowd for the face of my Pop-Pop.
I heard his voice before I saw his face and I bee-lined for him. My wait had been so long. Two years! Two years had passed since I’d seen him face to face, and suddenly I couldn’t bear to be a part another second.
I followed his voice and found him at a table with four of his friends. I knelt to my knees, wanting to be as close to his crumpled stature as possible. Like a child, I sunk into his chest and clasped his hand in mine.
I could recognize his hands anywhere. I’ve watched these hands tell stories, snap string beans, slice bread and rounds of homemade sausage, since I was a little girl.
My wait was over! Tears slid down my cheeks as his southern words introduce me to his friends. “This is my granddaughter and we’re in love with each other.”
In love with each other.
Yes, Pop-Pop, how better to describe the way I feel for you? You always had a way with words, and these, I’ll keep forever…
My Pop-Pop has been with Jesus for almost two years, and yesterday as I took my little girl on a mommy-daughter date, this sweet memory came to mind.
“Mama,” she said as we pulled out the drive. “We’re in love with each other, aren’t we?”
Thinking of Pop-Pop, I smiled big and said to her, “You bet!”
It may sound strange this idea, of being “in love” with a grandpa or child. But isn’t this just the sort of love that Christ has for us? That Christ implores us to have for others.
Indeed, what greater joy is there than to be in love? What greater way is there to live as Christ?
The washing of the disciples’ feet. The saving of the harlot in the town square. The turning of water to wine, the healing, the rescue, the changing of lives…all born from the love of Christ.
When we open our hearts to love, in the manner that Christ loved us, we open ourselves to the love that fairy tales are made of. Love that changes everything. Love that endures. Love that conquers all.
This love, it’s not just for stories. It’s for you and me and the broken world around us. It’s ours in abundance if we would but wake up to it, embrace it, then give it away in love’s embrace.
Our hearts, they can be Christ’s heart. Our arms they can be Christ’s arms. We can know the love of a fairy tale, and we can embrace the broken.
We can be loved. We can be love.
Sweet friends, may you wake up this day to the fairy tale that is found in the love of Christ. May you hear his voice. May you fall into his arms and hear him say, “This is my precious (your name here) and we are in love with each other.”
May you share this love with the world.