I’m going through a period of grief that is common to many. Two of my grandchildren are leaving home on long term missions across the sea. They go into precarious situations which, while it makes us nervous, only makes them excited. We’ve been warned against mentioning over the Internet their names or the countries they’re going to. One will be gone three years, the other two.
We’ve enjoyed having them close during their university years, sharing meals and conversations, doing art projects together, and then seeing them graduate. We’ve watched them turn into young adults, responsible people, ready to follow their dreams. But why do they have to follow them so far away?
This is a common grief. Children grow up and leave home. Parents, at least some of them, grieve as they let them go. We did this to our parents. But being common doesn’t make the sadness any less real.
As I’ve been writing poetry through the Bible, I thought about my grandkids this week. I was working my way through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John and I came across this passage: “This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Here’s the poem:
Weightless, in fact.
Under the yoke of God,
there by our choice,
we float on his will
toward a destination
of his choosing.
-Give away all you own. Feed the poor.
-Leave your father and mother and come.
Follow me to the ends of the earth.
I’m on the way.
-Set your grandchildren free to grab hold
of the dreams I put in their hearts. Let go.
-Give up your life for mine.
Here. Take it.
Not burdensome at all.