Monday, April 23, was to have been a mostly unplanned day--that is until Sunday night when I learned that our youngest granddaughter, Meredith, was running a little temperature and couldn't go to day care on Monday. My "unplanned day" meant running a few errands, doing laundry and continuing to make order out of the chaos in our office. I was only too happy to be a grandmomma instead and spend time with Meredith. All the other stuff could wait.
As I started my quiet time routine that Monday morning I read the entry for the day in Henri Nouwen' s book, Bread for the Journey. His comment was based on John 17:18: As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. Nouwen says: "We seldom realize fully that we are sent to fulfill God -given tasks. We act as if we have to choose how, where, and with whom to live. We act as if we were simply dropped down in creation and have to decide how to entertain ourselves until we die; But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do."
During the day I really chewed on those words. Would Nouwen really say that staying with a sick grandchild is a "God-given task?" I used to be able to say with certainty where God had sent me; I could verbalize my call. Then, all of a sudden or so it seemed, we were sent to another place, with no call and no clear reason for being here. I have questioned God's reason for uprooting us again. I have wondered what it is I'm supposed to be doing. A little child led me Monday. As I looked into her eyes I knew what my "God-given task" was for that day and I felt a great sense of satisfaction and affirmation. When Meredith was not quite a month old, I had the privilege of baptizing her , just as I had one of her older brothers a couple of years earlier. I look at them and see two beautiful grandchildren, but I also see two covenant children and am struck by the responsibility I have to help teach them the things of God. Throughout the day while she sat in my lap, I thanked God for her and prayed for her future, remembering just how important it is to pray for our children and grandchildren.
The tasks we are given are often not seen by others; they are seldom monumental in the eyes of the world. For just a while I forgot. Just as God sent me out into the world, God brought me home to help nurture my family. I am blessed to have been given such a task.