The Greatest Gift of All

   Few of us can ever fully understand an event in life unless we have experienced it. Life, itself has become my greatest teacher. I know about cancer because I am married to a cancer survivor. I understand the heart and dilemmas of a missionary because i have shared that journey. I understand the private agonies of a pastor because I pastored churches for over 25 years.  I know what it is to be a son; a father, an uncle and husband because as a man, my role and soul have been intertwined into each of these identities.I often heard grandparents talk about the joys of being a grandparent and it just sounded like mindless chatter. I would sit and listen to their stories about their grandchildren doing certain feats and saying the "darn'dest" things. But honestly, it would roll in one ear and out the other.My life has changed now because of the greatest gift of all. I have a grandson. His name is Caleb. However, I am still calling him "Baby Beloved."  One of the old Jewish prophets reminded us that God, himself would sing over us and delight in us (Zeph. 3:17).  As I hold Baby Beloved, I find myself singing over and over a little song, I've already  made us which simply says, "Baby Beloved, you are Baby Beloved and I delight in you with the greatest of delights."  It's not made up. It's so deeply true.  I think I wondered what this experience would be like: Would I fall instantly in love? Would my heart swell with pride?  Would the trajectory of my life be altered forever?  The answer is simply "Yes!"Last night, Caleb was a bit fussy. No one could seem to settle him until I took him. My big arms made a cradle and I sat in a rocker and just sang my little "Baby Beloved..."  He quieted and his eyes became a window for me to peer into his 9lb 10oz soul. I looked into his heart and his eyes looked into my heart and then it happened. I knew that I have been given the greatest gift of all. Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone, little Baby Beloved has woven his own place in my heart.I love him! I really love him. I told Gwen that if we got the news that something was wrong, we'd get on a plane and fly across the world to be with him and for me to sing "Baby Beloved" to him.There comes times in our lives when hearing that lullaby is all we need. "Baby Beloved, you are Baby Beloved" will calm the heart and still the soul.  Now I know more than ever before why Jesus would "often" withdraw to lonely places to be alone with God.  There in the sanctuary of nature amidst olive trees and mountain's shadows, God would sing over Jesus. "Baby Beloved, you are Baby Beloved and I delight in you with the greatest of delights."