Special Edition

It has now been over three months since a little heartstealer named McCail Violet (or “little Vi” as her great grandparents call her) came into our lives… effectively turning them upside down and inside out. I have gone from being “Pastor Tim” to “Poppy Tim” and the transformation, though still unfolding, has been radical. As I shared with you in an earlier post, I have never been a “baby holder.” While I liked babies, I have never been comfortable holding children… especially someone else’s.

From that I have been transformed into a person… (and judging by the faces I make when I talk to her) a CRAZY person … who gets JEALOUS when someone else gets to hold her and I’m nearby. And one of the most joyful experiences of my life comes when she sees me… and smiles. I used to think it might have been random. Now I know it’s my face that she recognizes… and I think she likes me! I love how her little head feels when she lays it on my shoulder. I just like to sit and look at her.

And I love to hold her when she’s napping. That’s when I’m at my best! I love it when she grabs my finger or when she reaches for my face. I confess again that I didn’t think this “grandparenting” role would affect us like it has… but it has. And we’re hopeless, her Mamaw and I. We clock our days around when was the “last time” we saw her and when is the “next time” we get to see her. In between times, we look for pictures or Instagram or Facebook posts.

When I get the opportunity to hold her and have a quiet moment to study her little face, and see the perfection of her fingers and toes and the deep blue of her eyes, I see some wonderful things.

I see her mother and her father. I see two incredible people who have thrown themselves fully into being the best parents this child could ever have. Dave and Logan have so gone beyond the definition of “a good Mom and Dad” that it astounds me. As much as I love to hold her, I love seeing her being cared for by her parents. I see their faces… my son’s and Logan’s expressions and features and mannerisms… etched into her personality already. My pride in seeing my son protectively and attentively hold his daughter is beyond measure. In every sense of the word, they are raising her so well and I know they will one day put her little hand into the hand of Jesus as she follows Him as Lord.

I see her heritage. I see the Maynard family and Pamela’s blue eyes and I see the Cubilla family and their heritage as her grandparents. No child comes into being without the family that has gone before. And McCail Violet has been enthusiastically welcomed into this world surrounded by a family of grandparents, aunts and uncles and great- grandparents who deeply love her.

And I see the future. When I look into the precious face of this little joy-full bundle, I feel hopeful. The cynicism and skepticism and despair that can overshadow all of our lives at times is washed away in the face of this child. God gives us children in part, I believe, to renew hope within us. To show us that life is stronger than death. And to show us that God is still with us and for us… creating, renewing, restoring.

But I also see a wise Creator. I see a Father God who intricately and amazingly “knit” McCail together in her mother’s womb, as the Psalmist phrased it. He connected every nerve ending, and wired every artery and every synapse of her brain. He made her sweet eyes, crafted her perfect face and He knows how many hairs are on her head and what her first boyfriend’s name will be. (Wait… how did that last part get in there?) How could anyone… ANYONE… hold this miraculous bundle of life in their arms and doubt the existence of an All Wise Creator God?

So yes, we are transformed, her Mamaw and I. McCail is trying to talk now… she’s holding up her head and she’s almost ready to turn over on her own… and she’s growing every day.

And we are thankful for that. But not too quickly, dear granddaughter of mine… please…

Not too quickly.

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