A smile curled across my face as I cradled my newborn grandson in my arms. Swaddled in a blanket, peacefully sleeping, he cupped his hands together on his tiny chest as if praying.
He was like a precious pearl. Beautiful. Innocent. Glowing.
His parents will teach him much. They will let him know he is loved. They will sing lullabies to him, rock him, and hold his tiny body next to theirs as three hearts beat with joy and laughter.
They will teach him about God. They’ll gaze together at star-sprinkled skies, touch blades of grass to his fingertips, and lift his nose to the fragrance of Spring lilacs. And my grandson’s heart will fill with wonder and joy as he experiences the magnificence of the Divine.
Together, my son and daughter-in-law will teach their son how to play in nature, how to pray, and how to connect with the Creator.
Like a pearl that’s shaped and molded within the shell of an oyster, my grandson will learn layers of truth as he ages. His body, mind, and spirit will expand as he discovers infinite oceans of life and love.
He will also learn untruths. Someone will tell him he’s bad. The schoolyard bully will taunt him, poke fun at his glasses. His heart will break when a loved one dies or walks away. Layers of hurt and pain will cover the shell of his pearl-like life.
Like us all, when my grandson becomes an adult, he will need to learn how to unlearn so he can learn.
One-by-one the sand-like irritants—the falsehoods that shroud his heart—will need to be exposed, sanded, and removed to let the innocent pearl within my grandson’s soul shine with time-worn brilliance. He will need to replace the untruths with truth so he can grow in wisdom.
The falsehoods he must unlearn are universal. They are adopted through life experiences. Here’s a handful with which I’m still wrestling, with the corresponding truths I hope to learn and pass on to my grandson:
•God is a tyrant, ready to bop us on the head and throw us into a fiery pit of damnation unless we worship him. No, dear Grandson, God is love. He’s here to guide and hold you. He’ll protect you. He’ll never let you go—even if you forget him. Like your parents, the Divine Parent wants you to be happy.
•You are bad, flawed, and broken. No, Grandchild, don’t believe the lies. You are good. God made you in his Divine Image. The Holy Spirit dwells in and through you. You are not God and you are not other than God. Remember what you knew as a tiny infant as you cupped your hands and prayed: God is good and so are you.
•You need nobody, especially God. That’s not true, Grandson. It’s another crusty layer we develop to protect our hearts from pain. But God did not cause the pain. People did. God never left you. He’s always there as your life partner. He co-creates love within and through you. If you throw him off your team, you’ll be incomplete and you’ll experience more suffering through misguided choices. Let God in. Seek him. He will guide you.
•Grandson, remember this truth: “Quiet time solves everything.” As your world fills with busyness, responsibilities, and stress, the cure for life’s chaos is found in quiet solitude. As Jesus did, take time daily to sit and listen to the Father. He has a Voice—a Soothing Whisper like the wind—and you can learn to hear it again. The Holy Spirit will teach you. The Voice of Love is your Wisdom Guide.
Your parents and grandparents will not likely be with you all the days of your life, but God will be with you forever. Let the Creator help you unlearn the falsehoods and relearn the truths about yourself and life.
As you grow, learn how to unlearn so you can learn.
—brian j plachta