Our family feast welcomes a fresh new face this Thanksgiving… grandson Francis…who, at ten-weeks-old, promises to present precious little competition for the grown-ups as we lunge after a second helping of roast turkey and stuffing.
And for that, we are thankful. 😉
Just kidding. Truth be told, it’s a delight to have the kid as part of our clan – and not only because he has excellent taste in outfits, like this one…my personal favorite:
Even at his tender age, Francis is a wonder worker. He’s remade our family, rendering one of my favorite photos from earlier in 2016 obsolete. That would be the ‘family selfie’ taken last April during a particularly memorable birthday-surprise-excursion to Kansas City.
Great photo, yes…but now noticeably incomplete.
And as I think back through the year, it occurs to me that Francis had other lessons to teach his Gramps – even before we had a chance to meet. I noticed today how his eyes tend to sparkle with delight at the tiniest things, like say the pattern of light streaming through the slats of the window blinds…
And I was reminded of my own reaction to the gargantuan splendor of Slieve League during a visit to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way this past summer.
Great green mountain…or simple grey light – both have the capacity to move our hearts toward gratitude, if we are inclined to look at the world as gift…and every bountiful thing in it as something unmerited, something intriguing, something new.
When I hold Francis, I realize there is much to learn from an infant’s worldview – wisdom so recently removed from the Maker’s timeless presence.
On some level, Francis seems to know what our grown-up spirits often struggle to express. But the words of Psalm 100 come pretty close – a great prayer to savor, along with turkey and all the fixins’, on Thanksgiving Day:
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before God with joyful song.
Know that the LORD is God;
the Holy One made us, God’s we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to God; bless his name.
For the Holy One is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and God’s faithfulness, to all generations.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.
Ever so precious is the gift of a little one who instills a sense of hope for a better tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving baby Francis and Grandpa.