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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twin Heaven (no night, lots of angels)

I'm wrapping up a second tour of northern grandparent duty this week, and my wife (who will have been with our grandblessings for two weeks) and I will be returning back down to earth again on Thursday.

Being around babies inspires belief in the miraculous. Twins Maria and David are angels for sure, and they bring out loving and angelic behavior in their admiring six-year old brother as well. Their parents likewise demonstrate a kind of 24/7 patience and good humor that seems far beyond human, even when stress and fatigue bring thoughts of purgatory as much as paradise.

These days I reflect on some behind-the-scenes players as well. I’ve been thinking a lot about the legacy the twins inherit from the “cloud of witnesses” who have gone ahead into the next life, maternal and paternal ancestors from whom the babies have inherited good DNA and the kind of faith and wisdom passed on from one generation to the next.

Take our own parents, and all eight of these twin’s great-grandparents, for example, all of whom are gone except great-grandma Irene, from whom little Maria gets her middle name (it means “peace”). I pray our grandchildren can each be mindful of all they inherit from the lives and stories of great-grandparents Michael and Alma Wert and Ben and Mary Yoder on their mother's side of their ancestry, and Howard and Irene Showalter and Roy and Mabel Heatwole on their father's side.

None of these good folks ever made headlines, but their quiet and consistent influence inhabit our space, continue to shape our actions and beliefs. There is not a crime, divorce or infidelity among them, as far as I know. They had Bibles in every room, blessings at every meal. Their lives reflected a love for God and for God’s people that was demonstrated in unselfish service to their families, churches and communities. Their integrity and generosity live on in their offspring.

I thank God for them. Without them, we would not even be here, and without their exemplary way of life, our lives would certainly not be the same.

May their spirits ever hover over us and our children, and their children's children. Like angels.
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