A letter to my grandsons
A paraphrase of Paul’s second letter to Timothy
To my grandsons Armand and Christian,
From your grandfather, an apostle of Christ Jesus who was sent to tell others about the life promised through the Christian faith as told in the Bible. As you know, I was in newspaper newsrooms for over 20 years, but later in life answered a call to the ministry in order to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable as Jesus did.
My prayer for both of you is that you will live a life of faith in God. May he give you grace. (Grace was your great-great grandmother’s name. It’s a great name.) May you have mercy, a willingness to forgive others as you have been forgiven, and may the Lord grant you peace.
I thank God for the miracle of your birth and life. Night and day I think about you and remember you in my prayers. One thing I hope you will always remember. You were born in Mission Hospital in Asheville.
Please understand. You have many advantages already, but God does not love you more than a child born in Aleppo or Cambodia, New York City or Mississippi. Every child is a precious miracle. God loves all children and does not like it when we think ourselves better than others. It is not ours to judge. God loves you in the same way he loves a child in poverty or a child with limited intelligence. We never call someone “stupid.” Our job is to be the most loving we can possibly be.
It makes me happy when we are together. I always look forward to it. That reminds me to be thankful for those before us who kept the faith alive. Your great-grandparents and generations before them were church-going people.
You have been given special gifts by God with abilities to think, to reflect, to tell a story, to dream. You have the talent to make music and create works of art.
In the Christian faith we believe these gifts come from the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts but the same spirit gives them. We each have different abilities, but it is the same God who gifts each of us with whatever abilities we have.
Go out and explore. Make mistakes. Live boldly but always with compassion.
It will be exciting where your interests are. Enjoy each day; it goes quickly. My prayer is that you not be afraid and that you not seek a life based on money. Do what you truly enjoy and enough money will follow.
And if you live with discipline (as Paul says, self-control) you will be satisfied and have peace in your heart. God bless you.