OPINION COLUMNS

Tickle cheese, sippy cups and fingerprints

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Life is good. No, really. I’m not kidding. With all its challenges and frustrations, it is good.

I’m not sure why I started with that thought this morning. I sat down and put fingers to the keyboard to start telling my story, and that’s what came out.

We had dear friends from Colorado who came to visit and spend the night Sunday at Casa Lewis before heading back to the mountains Monday.

This young couple moved to Fort Worth to begin the seminary experience 10 years ago. They needed a place to serve, and I needed an associate pastor. The rest is history.

Now pastor of a church in Colorado, he is less colleague and more friend and younger brother. We converse frequently via phone, text and email, but this was the first face-to-face visit in a while.

They have two precious little ones now, an energetic 3-year-old princess and a 6-month-old little man. It has been a while since we had babies in our house, and it was a grand adventure. They told us it was a warm-up in anticipation of our own grandkids (not that we are currently expecting any this is not an announcement).

We really did have a great time and did lots of baby holding and enjoying the kind of conversations one can only have with a precocious 3-year-old. The shredded cheese we served along with dinner was declared to be “tickle cheese.” I’m sure there’s a story there, but we never got it. However, there’s a good chance the moniker may stick at our house.

This morning as they were packing to leave, I held the baby and demonstrated that I haven’t lost my touch at helping put little ones to sleep. Before the nap, there was plenty of cooing and laughing and playing with my glasses. Since I didn’t wear glasses when mine were little, trying to see through baby fingerprints is a new experience for me.

Have I mentioned that life is good? When I reflect on the lives that have crossed my path, I can’t help but be thankful. There is much wrong with this broken, fallen world. Shame on us when we can’t see what’s right with it – things like “tickle cheese,” sippy cups and baby fingerprints.

Philippians 4:4-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Our lives matter to God, and He proves it all the time if we will just pay attention.

We also had some familiar smells in the house. I still remember how to change a diaper, but I didn’t feel the need to prove it.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.

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