Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sweet Caroline

I met Caroline yesterday morning. My great niece, daughter of my nephew Ben and and his lovely wife, Courtney, turned two weeks old Wednesday. She is perfect. I was blessed to be able to hold her for close to a half hour and she slept like, well, a baby. I saw her a little later when Courtney laid her down and Caroline's unblinking eyes were locked on the adjacent Christmas tree. I've always wonder what they realize at that pristine stage of life outside the womb. Jesus taught we have to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. I have a picture somewhere of Dad holding me as they were taking me home from the hospital. My guess is I was quite similar to Caroline, excepting the gender factor. Babies are babies are babies....unless you are related to them by blood and them they are just the best. DNA clouds objectivity even if  just slightly.

It's a typical Thanksgiving morning with Dave and Sally's family which has gathered/is gathering at their home in Wichita. Early morning Starbucks, breakfast of homemade Orange Julius and breakfast casserole, and Meagan organizing a dining room table board game which has rules that might as well be in Mandarin to me. There are little children everywhere and several more who will arrive in the next hour or so. I've witnessed several vomitings and a few tears already along with the typical children conversations. And although my memories are somewhat fuzzy, I'm sure it's not that much different from when I was little except there are more kinfolk and electronic devices at this gathering. (My earliest Thanksgiving recollection is my kindergarten year in Arkansas when Grandpa Chesshir's dog destroyed the paper sack turkey I had artfully crafted in Miss Petersen's class at Willard School.) Families have a way of evolving, creating new branches and spawning the resultant generations. Genealogies were such an important part of the Bible even though we might scoff at their importance today. Their significance was never lost on the earliest readers. In Psalm 68:6, David wrote that, "God sets the lonely in families...." His words ring true these thousands of years down the highway of time. I ache for my students who are longing for some stability at home, a blessing I took for granted as I knew nothing else. Stability is, in my opinion, inherited along with traditions and family names. Of this I am certain today: baby Caroline will grow up surrounded by love and peace and the teachings of Jesus...... and a boatload of cousins. And for that, this Thanksgiving morning in Kansas, I am most grateful.

Applicable quote of the day:
“Babies are such a nice way to start people.” 
 Don Herold

God bless,
Uncle Steve
Luke 18:1
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