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Finding peace in Christ

Shields recently entered her teenage years and is overjoyed. I celebrated with her as I tried to measure how fast 13 years can fly. Recently I uncovered a 13-year-old Playhouse article that introduced this special granddaughter. Since it’s summer vacation, I’m letting my brain take a respite, and I’m pulling from the “archives:”

My bags were packed with good intentions and great expectations. I would have one-on-one bonding time with our newest grandchild. I could prepare meals for Katie and Eli, and avail myself for any housekeeping chores the new mother might need.

That good intentions bag never even got unzipped. Katie had the house in spotless order before she left for the delivery, and Eli said to leave the ironing board folded; he would carry any laundry of his to the cleaners. He wanted me to enjoy the baby.

Food preparation was covered by the new parents’ church friends and neighbors. The freezer held a bounty of frozen casseroles and desserts, and a restocking arrived at their front door routinely.

That left all my time for Baby Shields. What a treat. I poured ready-mixed formula and changed disposable diapers. Her clean-up tray held heated wet wipes, and they, too, were disposable. She slept between feedings and burped on the first or second pat. I was amazed at the changes in this second-generation child-raising and what I was learning.

Even though Baby Shields was a newborn, she gave me valuable spiritual insights. Such a small frame — unable to stand, speak or use her hands, but a single cry got our attention and us to her side immediately. I thought of the psalmist as in his helpless state he would cry out to God, and the Father always heard his cries.

Surely Shields must have an impressive IQ because she learned in less than 10 days that her greatest contentment was in the warm arms of a loved one and just how to call that loved one to her cradle. The world has a way of calling me away from my Heavenly Father, but staying close to him always brings the greatest contentment.

I didn’t see Shields wring her hands the first time or get depressed during the evening news. The darkness never frightened her, and mild and a dry diaper were the only items on her “want” list. She never whined about being small or weak or her lack of communication skills. I didn’t hear her make an audible request, but her every need was met.

What a clear picture she was to me in how Christ cares for his children and the peace we should experience in belonging to him. Shields, you were an exceptional teacher.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.