Body Builder

by Terry Camsey, Grandfather – 

…on Father’s Day.

I don’t know whether this will make the press deadline in time for the Father’s Day issue of New Frontier and, to be honest, I am running against the clock somewhat since we are preparing to go to the United Kingdom for the 50th reunion of Beryl’s officer training session—The Soulwinners.

But I have been thinking a lot lately about both fathers and grandfathers. The latter especially since Roz and Carlos gave me the gift of a first grandson—Max. How I love him, even to feeling withdrawal symptoms when I don’t see him for a few days.

I want, above all, for him to know that his granddad loves him, and I seize every opportunity to hold and hug him…to play with and read to him…to whisper in his ear that I love him. At four months of age, of course, he may not understand the words I say. But I want him to feel that love…and the reward of his hand clutching my finger, or squeezing my face, or beaming with pleasure gives me confidence to know that he is as happy to be around me as I am to be around him.

Not all generations have felt comfortable actually verbally expressing their love to their children…or even hugging them for that matter. It’s only a couple of generations ago that children in some families (perhaps more at the richer end of the social scale) only saw their parents for, perhaps, a few minutes a day and then had to address their father as “Sir.”

I think that grandfathers could have been seen as even more remote. I am sure that mine loved me, but I don’t recall hugs or verbal expressions of that love. The image in my mind is of somewhat stern “grandpas” and I guess that is why, as a grandfather myself, I am so anxious to show Max the love that I feel and not keep it bottled up inside of myself because of some unwritten convention.

A few years ago I was coming down from the Army camp at Estes Park, Colorado, when I felt compelled to capture some words that were spinning around in my mind. They were ultimately published (by Salvationist Publishing and Supplies, Inc.) in a children’s song for Father’s Day entitled “A Father’s Lullaby.”

Once a year, we celebrate the unique bond God has created between a father and his children…we call it Father’s Day. When you think about it, shouldn’t every Sunday be Father’s Day?…but, surely, God longs for the love of his children, just as earthly fathers do. Can you imagine what he would say to us if we listened really closely? I wonder if it might be something like this:

Sit upon My knee, snuggle up to Me,
Nestle in my arms, Let me soothe your qualms;
Don’t you know how much you mean to Me?
Can’t you see how precious you I see?
Sit upon My knee, snuggle up to Me,
Nestle in my arms, Let Me soothe your qualms;
Don’t you know how much you mean to Me?
Child of Mine, just snuggle up to me.

Do you ever think how God, our Heavenly Father,
longs to hold His children dear?
How He yearns to pick us up and kiss us better
when we fall? I’m sure He does and sheds a tear:
(to chorus)

From conception He has known and loved us dearly,
though, at times, we oft forget
just how close He is. Our eyes do not see clearly.
Still He loves us, longs to hold us, whispers yet:
(to chorus)

Have you ever realized that, as each father
here on earth loves his own child,
so God, too, has need of our response. Much rather
longs to hold us, whispers still, in accents mild:
(to chorus)

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