We have a grandson, three weeks old in another few short hours. Three weeks old.
The clock began ticking on those three weeks as he exited the womb. Just as the clock began ticking (retrospectively) as his conception – his fusion of others’ cells – took place in his womb. Or maybe that clock began ticking when two people came together and publicly proclaimed their love for each other. Or – maybe – it began ticking the moment they were each conceived in their different wombs. Maybe that was the moment which began the countdown to this moment of a “grandson” for us and a child for them.
And do these clocks all stop ticking the moment of our last breath – when our allotted time runs out? Or are we birthing another phase of living? Are these “three score years and ten” the end – or simply another connection in an eternity of life?
I asked the growing foetus when he would die. Two score weeks and two he replied. I asked the virgin sperm when he would die. I asked the virgin egg the same. Neither saw beyond the lifespan they lived.
And now I ask this three week old life the same. He answers not. His comprehension still the next ache in his stomach, the next evacuation, the next darkness of sleep. Days and nights not yet part of his consciousness.
Yet might something primal already ponder … “Is this all?”
And if my three week old grandson were to verbalise as we do – what would we reply – how would we speak … what words would we give that this precious bundle might know? For he knows not words or time as we do. He knows so little – yet. Yet will know so much – and then in a few short years will know again so little – and then in time – again so much.
Just not yet.
Yesterday a man of God spoke at length to me. And – just like our three week old grandson – this “man of God” does not see himself a man of God. But he explained the universe, the connections of living, and the growth of “Life”. I soared as he spoke. Of electrons within a brain. Of file sharing across the globe – connecting with fragments of files and the whole drawn together. Of the reproduction of music as small files. The years of exploring algorithms to package sound in transmittable files. Packages of more fragments. Incomplete yet complete. Years spent compressing the sounds of gigabytes in a few megabytes. So they might be shared. Heard. Enjoyed again and again. We spoke of how the universe is an “emptiness” – just as the table on which our coffees rested – that too a “molecular emptiness”.
The conversation ranged around “science and technology” … yet I heard God and he heard science and we both knew awe.
And then we talked of God and he heard religion. And religion is God who lets bad things happen. My Father so real to me is not his. Yet I see my God in him – my Father speaking through him.
This man of God? He is my brother who saw me as a “three week scrap of life” all those years ago.
What do we have in common? A mother and father. Grandparents. We share the birthing of our great grandparents and theirs before them. We share our connected families with their labels of connection – these families spread across this globe in countries near and far. What do we all have in common in this bond of “official connection”?
We have Love.
Love in many forms. Not just the slushy, touchy-feely, commercial “love”. In our family it is so much more (and so much less). Our connection is love and our love is more than connection. It is a bond.
So if you were to tell me we were not brothers …
Just because he does not believe in God as “we do” – because he is “not saved” as “we are” – because if he dies today he is “a sinner” – dammed for eternity …
Yesterday I saw his God – not yet birthed.
So now tell me again … why is it that you are are saved and he is not?
We have a grandson, three weeks old in another few short hours.
He is loved every minute of every day. Nurtured and protected. We will see him today – we will touch him today. Yet today he will not know any of that.