"This world is meant to break your heart."
That's what it said. The still, small voice that spoke to me, half warning, half chiding (though lovingly and endearingly) It said so even as I gazed spellbound into my grandaughter's eyes, and they gazed back, inquisitive and amused at her funny, furry protector. And that wave of euphoria welled up in me as I imagined she was adoring her Zayde as much as he was adoring her. Those eyes. Absolutely enthralled with those eyes. I've been enrapt with every child the Lord has given us. I honestly affirm it has never been one over another. I've actually been startled at how equally my love has been distributed among them. But each is unquestionably unique, and my connection with each one singular and unlike any other. In my memory, I've held only one other infant child who looked up into my eyes in a way quite like this. That would be her momma, Danika Lauren. Never can forget that quiet, questioning but supremely contented gaze that seemed to penetrate right down into my heart. It was what I took with me from the very first half hour they handed her to me, right after all the tumult suddenly subsided in the birthing room. This perfectly lovely newborn child placed into my arms, the lights lowered, and all hospital professionals exited; leaving me to cherish my brand new, wide awake daughter in rapt silence next to her sleeping hero mom. I was sure I saw uncommonly high intelligence in those Nakkish eyes, even at that ridiculously young age, and it turned out I was right. National Merit Scholar, 4.0 g.p.a. nearly everywhere she went. And now Lila Elaine. Utterly smitten by those eyes and everything attached to them. Did I say "smitten?" More like vanquished. Cue the voice, this time with a bit more edge to it: "What, are you really gonna let yourself get suckered again?" You gonna let your heart be totally taken captive again by another mortal being?
And the one "voice" we can always count on, through His written Word: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things WHICH ARE ABOVE, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God; Set your affection on things above, NOT ON THINGS ON THE EARTH; For ye are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God."
As heaven-sent as I believe this little angel is, I think she'd have to be included among the "things on the earth," and that I can't deny. And like all the host of other "things on the earth," she, and all my family and/or friends can become an idol to me, or they can be taken away from me. I am not just being dark, morbid and negative. BAD STUFF DOES HAPPEN. O, Lord, does it ever. Obviously, even a casual scroll through Facebook will show you a world full of tragedy, disappointment and hardness. I'm convinced we're just not meant to love our present lives or put our hopes for happiness at any time in this passing world. In fact, it's a mistake of Biblical proportions to do so. Literally. I am so glad I have this heart of love for these present little ones, and the little ones who are little no more. I don't think I could stop that if I tried. I'm not at all advocating letting our love grow cold towards family and friends. But I do believe in letting that love be directed by a SPIRIT LED, Biblical perspective A holy, CHRIST-CENTERED, Heaven-mandated, eternity-fixated measure of earthly "detachment," if you will. Ever, ever keeping in mind: they are not REALLY "mine." And this world is not my home. "Holding on loosely" This little beauty will not be an idol unto me, nor will her Mom, her siblings, her cousins, or her aunt or her uncles; not the one still with, nor his irreplaceable brother who went on ahead. And if she is taken away at any time (God forbid!), the world will not come to an end. Though I can't guarantee I would not act for a while as though it had.
"I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' Name"
"For our conversation IS in Heaven" (Philippians 3:20). Truthfully, after careful study, I think "our citizenship" is too weak a rendering, and does not at all do justice. "Conversation" is the right word, as Tyndale had it; using the older English meaning: It means our real business, our true attachments, the focus of our activity, our real purpose and the interactions and associations of our lives ARE, RIGHT NOW in Heaven.
"Abide Above," as Miles would say.