To My Grandsons: It’s a Wonderful World
by Dale Reeves
A few weeks ago I wrote to our grandson Miles who had not yet made his appearance in the world. My daughters, sons-in-law, my wife and I, and another set of soon-to-be grandparents were anxiously awaiting his arrival. The week before he was born 31 innocent people lost their lives in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, because of the rage of two gunmen who apparently had not experienced the best that life has to offer. I said to my wife as we were waiting for Miles to be born at Bethesda North hospital, “I guess he knows what kind of world into which he is being born.”
Today Pop Pop would like to pass on a very different message to my two grandsons Luke and Miles, and to Liam, who is due to arrive very soon . . . Welcome to the world, little ones. It is a wonderful world we live in.
If you search Google for the most popular songs that are played for the father/daughter dance at wedding receptions, very high on the list is “What a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong. He crooned,
“I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night, and I think to myself What a wonderful world. The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky are also on the faces of people going by; I see friends shaking hands saying, ‘How do you do?’ They’re really saying, ‘I love you.’ I hear babies crying, I watch them grow; they’ll learn much more than I’ll never know, and I think to myself What a wonderful world.”
We hear a lot about the racism problem in our country these days, but just last week at a UC Bearcat football training camp, I witnessed a big white dude on crutches, with an injured left leg, walk into the dining hall while his black friend carried his food tray for him, asking where they were going to sit together. Every Sunday morning at our church I witness a stage full of God followers from racially-diverse backgrounds leading our church in worship of our multi-colored, multi-racial, multi-dimensional God.
I see a dancing trucker who hangs out at the corner of busy streets in our community just singing and dancing away, entertaining motorists as they drive by. I see a man who lives in my neighborhood, and as he briskly walks past our house, I hear him singing out loud to himself. A friend offers to pay for my round of golf and is thrilled for me to meet another friend of his whom he has invited with the same sweet deal. I get done eating lunch and I go to pay for my meal, when my server says, “I don’t have a bill for you, it’s already been paid for.”
I witness the tender loving care and patience of skilled and capable nurses and hospital staff loving on my daughter and her new baby boy, who is a floor away in the special care nursery. I witness an outgoing and caring bartender who is thrilled that we are bringing church to them. I witness friends who are in recovery excited about the ministry God has given them as they provide emotional support for others through their larger-than-life dogs. It’s a wonderful world. Love is all around us if you look for it.
King David wrote, “What a wildly wonderful world, God!You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,made earth overflow with your wonderful creations” (Psalm 104:24, The Message).
One of our favorite things to do with our oldest grandson is to head to the Cincinnati zoo. Luke delights in riding the train and he loves to bob up and down on the carousel. He was recently featured in a zoo commercial, roaring while riding his favorite animal on the merry-go-round. (He would probably fight a child for the right to ride on that tiger.) He likes to feed a giraffe by placing a piece of lettuce on its 20-inch-long tongue. He loves to see Fiona the hippo frolicking around with her mother Bibi. Luke laughs along with us at the gibbons making their whooping sounds. He pounds his chest like a gorilla when he is at their exhibit. He enjoys visiting Kendi, the baby black rhino, and is brave enough to pet the scaly skin of a snake. He thinks it’s funny that the elephants have to take baths like he does. Luke loves seeing the variety of incredible animals God has created, and he hasn’t yet seen a koala, giant panda, or a duck-billed platypus in person.
It’s a wonderful world.
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, described God with these words: He is “The one and only wonder-working God,” and “All the earth brims with his glory” (Psalm 72:18, 19, The Message).
My brave and fearless grandsons, I look forward to pointing out God’s majesty to you. It happens in a beautiful sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine. I’ve seen it at the top of Haleakala National Park in Maui, Hawaii. I’ve seen it in sunsets in Laguna Beach, California, and the Grand Canyon, and in the beautiful little towns in the Cinque Terre, Italy. God reveals his glory in the magnificence of a double rainbow over the ocean, in the scent of a fresh rain after a dry spell, and in the glistening trees after an ice storm. It truly is a wonderful world that God created for us to enjoy.
And, it’s all because of his indescribable love for us. He cannot help himself. And, we can spread the great joy about his wonderful world to others . . . one at a time. God’s presence is around us all the time, if we look for it. And his presence is what makes this world so wonderful.