As new parents, we can’t even count how many hours have passed with us just staring at this new baby. It has been a joy to gaze at her. But if it’s possible, it has been an even greater joy for our parents. Hannah’s grandparents have a magnificent obsession with this little girl. (Trust me, they took turns staying with us for 5 weeks!) In fact, seeing the way they interacted with Hannah left us wondering, “Who are these people?!?” I mean, what happened to the guys whose joy in life was disciplining us. Growing up, I was convinced that my dad had a secret career as a drill sergeant. And now, he was soft like putty. If Hannah so much as whimpered, he panicked. In fact, all four of them were ready to discipline Shainu and I all over again for letting their grandchild shed so much as a tear. That’s the joy of being a grandparent. You get to love and support and celebrate and cheer this new being.
Well, it has been a great joy watching 7 Mile Road’s grandmother, the Forestdale Church do the same.
Back in November, I had a chance to preach our vision at Forestdale Church and I began my sermon by saying, “Forestdale church, you’re about to become grandparents!” Over 6 years ago, Forestdale birthed 7 Mile Road Boston. And now, 7 Mile Road Boston is about to birth….us. Grandma Forestdale.
Last week, I attended Forestdale’s annual meeting with Matt Kruse (pastor of 7 Mile Road Boston). Seeing the way they received my update on the church plant – it reminded me of the way Hannah’s grandparents received her. Big smiles. Warm embraces. Excitement. Celebration. Generosity. Joy. Joy. Joy.
Before I left, Paul McPheeters (pastor of Forestdale Church) even handed me a check from the church for the planting of 7 Mile Road Philadelphia. I’m so grateful that 7 Mile Road is not an orphan trying to raise herself. She is the daughter and granddaughter of 2 Gospel believing, Jesus loving, lost seeking, culture redeeming churches. Thanks be to God for the saints at Forestdale Church.