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Giggles of Grace - by Scott Tolhurst  

I was having a dark day. The reasons for it were varied; but they joined hands to encircle me with gloom. Hope was a wish – a feeble wish propped up by a dry theology. Like other times throughout the years, I tried to find relief from my heaviness through the Psalms. I grasped at them, hungry for something – anything to feed my soul. Psalm 86 begins, “Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am afflicted and needy.” That sounded like me, so I took my time through the verses. They speak of God’s goodness and David’s crushing need. The Psalm expresses a blend of hope and hardship. I came to the last verse, “Show me a sign for good…” I stopped – that was the cry of my heart. “Give me a sign of your goodness!” I wanted some verification that I was not forgotten, that I was loved and cared for. I was looking for a sign of grace. As a pastor I preached that signs of grace are all around us, but like I said, it was a dark day. I was blind to them. I whispered a prayer and waited.  

That evening my daughter and husband dropped in. It wasn’t unusual to have them over for supper, but this night they had a surprise. They saved good news until after dessert. They shared the news of their first pregnancy. They were going to be parents. I was going to be a grandpa. Tears and hugs were exchanged and instantly my thoughts bounced back to my prayer. “Lord, give me a sign of your grace!”  

The next weeks were filled with excitement and conversation. Names were discussed but none were suggested by us. The parents wanted the name of their firstborn to be a surprise to family and friends. Miriam and I vowed that no matter what the name would be, we agreed to love it. Months of preparation and waiting added up to nine and the time arrived. Miriam and I stood in the hospital hallway and heard the cry of our first grandchild. After a few moments dad brought out a daughter, placed her into my arms and said, “Let me introduce you to your granddaughter, this is Grace Rebecca.” A chill went up my back. This is Grace. Yes, this is grace.  

Grace grew fast. She loved to run fast and laugh hard. She has been a pinhole letting in the light to my darkness. Grace returned me to the gifts of grace all around me. Kittens, bubbles, rolling down grass slopes, ice cream and giggles. Giggles of Grace.  

I know that I’m not the only one to have dark days. I know that I’m not the only grandpa in the world. I recognize that others feel the same family delight, but that’s my point. There is an abundance of joy in this world and darkness cannot smother it. There is so much grace around us - a continual invitation to joy. That is just like God.