Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Morning Thanks--a Sabbath song
He really wasn't supposed to come around. I remember my daughter's tears--maybe tears of confusion--when she announced what the doctor had told her that, yes, she was, like it or not, going to have another baby. It wasn't a part of the story my own children ever intended to write.
Things went well at delivery, and soon enough their little guy held down his own at the dinner table, more than his own really. Eating was the only identifiable sign that he was, as are we all, affected--well, infected--by original sin. Food simply didn't come his way fast enough; he was a tireless advocate of "me first." And, at just about every meal, he had to be restrained, the remaining apple sauce brought back into the kitchen so he wouldn't spot it and scream. He was a tank until he started walking and thereby started burning off some of the extra blubs he took on when he regularly and energetically swallowed most of the table. But he was cute. Good night, he was cute.
He's in the terrible twos now, and sometimes I think my wife--his grandmother's--near adoration of the child is, well, excessive. His sins are more obvious and visible these days: he can still be demanding, and occasionally--just occasionally--he's capable of throwing a fit. He's growing up and becoming more human to all who know him.
But yesterday afternoon, while I was cleaning up a bit in the kitchen and the rest of the family and guests were chatting a dining room away, there he sat in the family room--all by his lonesome--and played with the host of little cars that, I'm sure, anxiously await his arrival anytime he comes to papa's house.
There he sat, middle of the little room, surrounded by the toys he'd pulled from his floor-level cupboard. There he sat, two years and four months, toying with whatever, and singing "A-B-C-D-E-F-G" and etc., to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle." Words largely indistinguishable, but the tune was nicely enunciated. He was singing quietly to himself, just sort of humming, not even thinking about it--just singing.
Yesterday was a good Sabbath. Two wonderful sermons, Great-grandpa, who's 92, over for most of the day, even staying with us for evening worship, and my daughter's family and in-laws dropping by mid-afternoon for a spectacular apple cake dessert with real whipped cream.
But what sticks in my my memory is that little guy's song, as he sat there all by himself, surrounded by matchbox cars and a tiny Luke Skywalker. Singing. Hear him? It's the music of the spheres.
That's my morning thanks--that little song from that little guy.
This old Calvinist finds it hard to admit--I've got to bite back a lot of precisionist theology to do it, too--but the fact is, that little guy, yesterday, was perfectly angelic.