Some days I drive two of my grandsons to Mother’s Day Out. One is four and the other is one. Some mornings, we might be at our house. Regardless of where, we’ll call Papaw – and he’ll either come upstairs from his office, or we’ll be on the phone driving down the mountain – and he’ll lead us in Number’s 6:24-26. You might know it as Aaron’s Blessing. Henry calls it Papaw’s Prayer – and line by line, Papaw takes us through it.
Henry doesn’t know what it means to Papaw. He doesn’t know all the places his grandfather has said this prayer or the deep, abiding truth of it. Henry repeats after Papaw, though. . . because he wants to do what Papaw does.
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
He doesn’t know Papaw said it before he went under to get a new heart valve and two weeks later to have a lobe of his lung removed because a nodule looked like cancer.
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
He doesn’t know that coming out of surgery, the first thing Papaw would do when he was able was recite Aarons Blessing, Psalm 23, John 3:15 – and “rubber baby buggy bumpers.” It was Papaw’s Brain Check – and his Remembering God Check.
And be gracious to you;
He doesn’t know that his Papaw didn’t put God in a box for the kind of miracle he wanted. Papaw just knew God had the all-is-well plan.
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
Henry doesn’t know Papaw leaned into it a few weeks ago in the Emergency Room when he’d had stroke. Henry doesn’t know it helps both Papaw and I to keep focused on God and not our circumstances.
And give you peace.”
Henry doesn’t know trust in God brings joy, brings peace, brings hope to the challenges. He just knows Papaw takes him to the garden, let’s him plant seeds, turn the soil, and pull a wagon full of tomatoes, peppers and garden deliciousness back to the house – that his Papaw loves him in a way that makes his heart glad. He doesn’t really know Papaw is showing him how to pray, how to talk to God – and what a good, worthy God is God. But Papaw’s planting seeds, too – God seeds in this little soul.
~ Numbers 6: 24-26
One morning going down the mountain, after Papaw had led us in morning prayer – and Papaw had hung up to go back to work, Henry wanted to say Papaw’s Prayer over again. It sounded something like this:
“The Lord shine.
The LORD SHINE ON THE trees, the grass, the dinosaurs.
The Lord give shine to Muddy and Papaw and Mommy and Daddy,
and the firetrucks. . . Amen.”
We’re in a new rhythm – one I’m learning to move in. Maybe it’s not really new. It just feels new. I’m mixing faith into this new rhythm – faith and keeping my eyes on the one whose face does, indeed, shine up on us, who unfailingly gives us peace, though I may walk off forgetting to take it with me. But God holds on to it until I remember and return to that which He holds for me. This faith mixing and sharing plants, grows, makes shine all it touches! Moments like this with my grandson are examples of that God’s blessings and enduring, never-give-up love.
I’m Remembering, God, how you’ve loved us – in the extraordinary and the everyday ordinary. Thank you for loving us in ways that warm our hearts, give us courage to say, “I want to grow closer to you God,” and to trust that you see us – on the mountain top lane going into the valley, to the challenges where we don’t have clear answers but have peace that you do, that it’s as easy as just keeping our soul eyes on you instead of the foxes and vines. You are a worthy God who loves more than we can understand. Thank you for shining YOU upon us in such sweet, simple ways that go straight to the heart Thank you, God! ~ Maryleigh