His eyes shine with a love that is all about giving. Stephen's heart is worn prominently on his sleeve and those of us blessed enough to be the object of that love by virtue of being a grandparent or some other relative, well, we are blessed.
Last Thursday evening I dropped by his house after we had all been at a baby shower. As I was leaving, with hugs and kisses for all--Stephen, Joshua, Emily and Katherine--Stephen cast around for a gift to give and picked two balloons he'd brought home from the shower, tied together, blue and green--already slightly deflated. "These are for you," he said--but it was the tender look in his eyes that was the real gift. I feel so protective of this little one--that kind of love...it is so vulnerable to hurt.
Stephen has a hero--his uncle Jay. We're not sure if it's because they both share a passion for Nascar racing, but Stephen is never here for long before he asks, "Where's uncle Jay?" He loves to sit beside him on the couch and watch a race.
Being a little boy's hero is something Jay is adjusting to! We love our son-in-law dearly. He's a big, handsome man, skilled in woodworking and very creative--strong, a loving father and husband--and a private, quiet person. A father of two girls--Tiffany-Amber and Victoria, he doesn't seem quite sure what to do with a little boy who persistently seeks him out and seems to love spending time with him--but he'll figure it out--just give in and love him back. It's kind of hard not to!
Stephen kind of reminds me of the Hound of Heaven--in the poem by Francis Thompson, relentlessly pursuing with love--but most of all he reminds me of Jesus. Jesus loves like that--with a love that holds nothing back--no guardedness--no self protection--only love; for God is love.
1 John 3
1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!