Ten Years On – A New Letter from Grandaddy:
By Derek Maul
When my first grandchild turned ten, the sudden passing of another decade got my attention! Here is the letter I sent to him; I pray that it will inspire and encourage us all – Derek
Dear David. Today you are ten years old! First of all, I’m having a hard time with the math – because this means that now everyone else must be ten years older too. But what wonderful years they have been. I have watched you grow into a kind, intelligent, creative, loving, caring, energetic 4th-grade boy. You are everything I ever dreamed of in a grandson, and so much more.
Ten years ago today I prayed that, “You will grow into the kind of boy who brings the light of God’s goodness and love into the lives that you touch.” It was a good prayer; I just didn’t have the capacity then to imagine just how much light and goodness and love that would be!
Did you know, David, that just a little light will always defeat a whole boatload of darkness? It’s true. Your grandmama and I tried it one day in a pitch-dark cave the size of a concert hall. One match, just one strike of a tiny wooden match, and light made its way into every corner.
What I want you to understand, David, is where that kind of light comes from. The disciple John said that the real light is Jesus: “The true light that gives light to everyone…” (John 1:9). Then, in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said we get to be the light too – and that includes you, “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others” (Matthew 6:13-16).
It’s like shining is your job, David. Being light, showing love, and showering the world with kindness.
Now you are the first grandchild of four! Beks loves you so much and she watches you every day. Geoffrey is paying attention too. Then Mr. T. – all the way over in Bahrain – hears stories and chats with you on the video, and he can see how beautiful it is when someone like you lives as if God has given them as a gift to the world.
And that is what you are, David, a gift. It’s how your baptism went too. Your mom and dad said, “thank you” to God, and then they kind of gave you back at the same time. What I mean is that they told God they understood where all the light and love and goodness comes from, and then they promised God that they would raise you to understand too, and to experience what it means to live as a Child of God.
There’s another Bible verse about that:
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are” (1 John 3:1)!
It’s pretty amazing stuff, David, and a lot to think about when you are just ten years old.
But here’s the thing. You are being raised, in this beautiful and loving family, to make a difference in terms of goodness, and of love, and of light. That’s where we started this post. I guess it’s as good a place as any to end.
So celebrate you birthday, David, and know how much Grandmama and I love you. You give me hope for this world, and confidence in the future. May God continue to fill you up with love and light and kindness and promise, so much so that it spills out all over the place and gets all over your family and your friends.
In love, and because of love – your Grandaddy Derek!
Derek is a North Carolina-based writer, journalist, teacher and speaker. He is the author of numerous books on what the Bible reveals as essential in becoming a man of God.
He is convinced that his four grandchildren are exactly the hope and promise that this world needs. His conviction is important to understand because it reveals a lot about his theology, and how he believes our identity as God’s children plays out in the day-to-day experience of living in a world where darkness, disappointment, and defeat are all too common.
He is a committed encourager, and a pilgrim in progress. He divides his time between writing and traveling to speak about the fully engaged life. His passion is to connect people – men and women – with a more vibrant, authentic experience of what he calls “The Life-Charged Life.”
Reading Between The Lines, With Derek Maul is published every Wednesday on Christian Grandfather Magazine.