They came as gifts – gifts of life, of hope, of promise.
They came at a dark time – a time of dying, of despair, of good-bye.
Two small ones, born a month apart – the last of 3 boys for our middle daughter, the first of 2 girls for our only son.
Our son-in-law (husband to our eldest daughter and father to our three oldest grandsons) was fading away, growing increasingly frail, fighting with every ounce of life he had to hang on. We tip-toed around the sadness, the fear, the suffering.
But then word came of two new babies to join the circle, and somehow, the light was switched on, bright and beautiful, even as our world grew smaller and dimmer.
Both were difficult births, both survived and thrived. Every milestone reached became a small miracle, a treasure to be cherished – turned over and over, catching and reflecting the light right into all our darkness.
Every glimpse of them together has been a multiplication of that initial shard of hope and life and light, now three years into a new and different kind of living, one without Mark here.
And now, they are six years old. Last Saturday, I sat outside in the warm southern California sunshine with my middle daughter. We talked of everyday things, relaxing into the surprising heat of a late fall day.
And all around us, these gifts of ours laughed and leapt, bumping into each other with easy camaraderie as they chased two small balls around the edge of the pool. Too cold to swim, but still the water entices!
Poppy got out the long-handled scooper and they took turns dragging those balls from the middle of the pool to the edges, running in circles, padding in their bare feet, getting splashed and not caring one whit about the wet.
And for just a brief moment, sitting there, lit by the light, warmed by the sun – the gates of heaven opened a tiny crack. And I saw the goodness of God made real in the flesh of two small children. I heard the whisper of God in the laughter that rose to the cloudless sky. I felt the nearness of God as I talked with my girl about schools and schedules, about lunches and holidays, about all the real that we live in the midst of, day in and day out.
And for just those few moments, all of life took on the glow of the Good, the Beautiful, the True. The air fairly vibrated with the power and the glory.
And I was satisfied, full to the brim with Life.
I am absolutely delighted to join two memes brand new to me – one brand new to everyone, one a re-issue of a long-loved invitation. Emily Freeman’s “Tuesdays Unwrapped,” and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s new “God-Bumps & God-incidences.”