The moments from today glimmer in memory– my granddaughter running ahead of me, her vivid pink coat flashing in the bright sunlight and her shiny blond head bent over the verdant green leaves of the thick clumps of spring snowflakes. I use scissors to cut the stems of the delicate bell-shaped flowers, handing them to her one by one. She takes each into her small hand, her face as serious as if I am handing her golden treasure.
The word comes strongly: sacred.
Suddenly I know the sacredness of this little child, this new and growing soul, in a brand new way. The enormity of this truth rather shakes me, when I consider how the world often treats children, how we often all treat each other. It was just this big ball of enormity I couldn’t really put into words, but in that moment I understood quite simply that as the grandmother that I have become in my place and time, I have been given a sacred charge to help train up this sacred little girl and her sacred little brother. How immense a gift, and a responsibility.
I do not remember being struck with my sacred task as a mother. I know I was grateful. I had prayed day and night for five years to have a child, before being given the priceless gift of my son. I never forgot to be grateful. I thanked God and even swore to never ask for another thing as long as I lived (No, that didn’t last, I’ve kept asking.) But did I know him, and my role, as sacred? If I did, I often forgot it amidst the dirty dishes and laundry and struggle with selfish desires and to simply live daily life in a world that tells every which way that we are far from sacred and crazy to think ourselves so.
But now I am a grandmother, with years of living under my belt that has built within me wisdom and strength to love. I let the laundry go, leave dishes in the sink, books unread, and yes, set the novel-writing aspirations aside, because my granddaughter needs what I can teach her and help equip her to live life ahead, with its inevitable shining moments and rocky roads in every sacred moment.
Of all the things I hope to teach my granddaughter, the highest is to see herself with eyes of love. I want her to know God loves her, and that she is made a shining child in His image, meant to be loved and loving in return. This will give her life and strength. And one day, she will be in my shoes, seeing her own granddaughter as sacred, and teaching her love.
Dear God, let me leave a legacy of love to my grandchildren. Strengthen me for Your purpose as a grandmother. Amen.