I believe that the Lord places certain “markers” in life that are, kind of, little fluorescent flags remembering special times or reminders of significant events of our journey. One of those happened a couple of nights ago. Our younger daughter, Kelsey, and her husband, Zach, live in southern Oregon and are expecting their first child . . . a daughter. We’ve not seen them for about 5 months, and in that time Kelsey’s pregnancy has progressed swiftly and nicely. This past Friday we traveled to Portland, Oregon where I had a concert commitment with Steve, and Kelsey and Zach made the 3-hour drive up from their home in Roseburg. Kelsey is in her 28th week of pregnancy and when she walked into the room where we were, my eyes went immediately to her very expanded waistline. After greetings and hugs, I took both of my hands and just HAD to feel this basketball-sized belly. Oh, my. Our baby is really having a baby! !
Later in the evening just before Zach, Kelsey and (a very happy grandmother-to-be) Mel were about to head back to Roseburg, I felt this large belly again and this time, the baby moved! Not just a little . . . A LOT! I leaned over and put my face right near my granddaughter and said, “Hello, little one. This is your Grandpa. I was the one at the piano tonight.” (What a silly thing to say . . . like I was hoping that she liked the concert . . . ) In an instant the Lord impressed upon my heart that there is significance to generations – that all of a sudden I’m the patriarch and there are now 2 generations that have come behind me. I never felt this way on behalf of my now 81-year-old father when our first little one was born nearly a quarter-century ago. Our baby is really having a baby!
The following morning I woke up in my hotel room and my thoughts went immediately to our growing family. In about 75 days there will be a new addition, a granddaughter. What do I want her to know? What will she look like? How will her interests and abilities take shape? Such an exciting season for all of us. Those few but significant movements of Kelsey’s belly that I felt with my own hands were indications of a life to come.
Several years ago Mel and I were privileged to be the worship leaders for a series of women’s conferences called “Heritage Keepers”. In pondering the new little August arrival, an additional generation to our family, my mind went to the passage of Scripture that was the over-arching theme of HK, Psalm 78. First, a little parental perspective. This Psalm was written by Asaph, who was by Scriptural account a Levite, church musician and songwriter. He was one of King David’s three chief musicians, authored Psalms 50 and 73 through 83. According to 1 Chronicles 16 he was appointed to “minister before the Ark of the Lord, to make petition, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel.” He led the worship by sounding the cymbals and was actually the scribe when King David gave his psalm of thanks to the Lord that begins in 1 Chronicles 16:7. Asaph was the leader of generations, and the authorship of several more Psalms were attributed to his sons.
Back to Psalm 78 – give a listen to these verses penned by Asaph through the eyes of a grandparent-to-be: “I will utter hidden things, things of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He has decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then the would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”
We are very excited for the arrival of our new granddaughter. As one of my friends has frequently stated, “Grandchildren open up a piece of your heart that you didn’t even know was there.” I think it’s fair to say that after feeling the little one move in our daughter’s womb, that piece of my heart is beginning to open. Our baby is really having a baby!