Birth and New Life: my favorite kind of story

An advantage of age (as if we were keeping score) is that you have the potential to know life more deeply. You haven’t just seen pictures of the Grand Canyon, you’ve stood on the edge of it. You haven’t just heard a digital recording of jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall, you’ve been in the room with her when she performed. You haven’t just thrown back a glass of wine, you’ve picked the grapes, put them in the press, poured the juice into the vats and lived while it aged.

People who don’t “get” art, have only taken a quick look and walked on. Consider this picture for example. It’s a picture of a girl, right? It looks like it could be hanging in a museum, right?

 the little shepherdess

the little shepherdess

It is hanging in a museum. In Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s called The Little Shepherdess by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. It is oil on canvas and was painted in 1889, a few years before I was born. You will know nothing about the picture by only looking at this digital image. You have to stand before it and look this little sherheredess in the eyes and let her look into yours. Let her judge you for a minute or two. Let her question what you are wearing just as you are contemplating what she is wearing and what she is doing. The painting is large and the colors are rich. And, if you visit her in her home in the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, I guarantee, you will have experienced art. You will “get” it. Kind of like us old people “get” life, because we’ve taken a deeper drink of it.

This longer perspective adds to the value of life. Every life and every experience is richer, packed with more meaning.

I think this is why every time we have received word that we will be grandparents again, I am moved beyond words. I know I was excited and scared and overwhelmed each time we learned that we would be parents, but we were young, we knew only a part of what a human life really meant. For the births of each of the Grand-Girls it has been somehow uniquely remarkable. I am always awestruck, and speechless because there are no words in my vocabulary for the reverence of that reality.

Well it’s happened again! Brooke and Kyle have told us of their news. They did it in a wonderful way and I was again speechless. And even if I could have found the words, they wouldn’t have been able to get past the lump in my throat.

So, come this next May, another little one will grab a piece of our hearts and not let go. With the benefit of age, I understand just how special this is. With the benefit of knowing Kyle and Brooke, I know how deeply this little one will be cherished and cared for.

I thank God for the privilege of getting to be a part of another human story that begins, “once upon a time” and transcends our human stories with, “and lived happily ever after.”

Congratulations Brooke and Kyle. How wonderful that this little baby will be born and will live in and through love.