To Infinity and Beyond #TraditionallySouthside

My granddaughter, Hayes Paten Carr, is 6 years old today going on 16. I know that you are probably saying that as a grandfather that I am just biased, but this child is amazing. It seems like she has been reading all of her life, but she really could since she was 2. Okay, she was 3, but I’m telling you this is the absolute truth. And the thoughts that work her way from that brilliant mind to her mouth will blow your socks off. Everything from ideas about parenting to Bible truths. For instance, did you know that Esther’s parents weren’t really dead? That’s right. They were hippies in Pennsylvania. And she told her mommy on Sunday that when it’s her “pregnant time,” she won’t threaten her children with calling Santa when they are bad. She will only call him when they are good. When her mommy reminded her that she doesn’t believe in Santa, she said she would call her daddy when he dresses up like Santa. The child is remarkable!

So while I did want to memorialize this day forever by including it in my blog, I do have a point to make. I have always teased my children about how much I love my granddaughters, and I may have implied that I love Hayes and Lucy more than I love Jennifer and Ashley (and Rob and Jon), but that’s not true. The love I have in my heart for my children is unbelievable. When my children were born, my life exploded with love. When they married, my love quotient expanded yet again. And when they had children, I don’t really know what happened. It’s like my love flowed through them to these precious granddaughters, and the best I can explain it is like sunlight through a magnifying glass. It isn’t that the magnifying glass increases the power of the sun; it only focuses the sun’s rays. The intensity multiplies. The same is true with my love. I don’t love my granddaughters more than my daughters, but it is focused through my daughters to these precious children.

And the amazing thing about all this is that I know God loves His children even more and better. That is incomprehensible to me. I cannot imagine anyone loving more than I love my family, but God does. Quite often, Sonya will tell me, “I love you.” My reply is, “I love you more.” And her words back to me are, “Plus one.” And no matter what I say, she responds, “Always plus one.” She has always been competitive like that when it comes to certain things, and no matter what I say, she always says, “Plus one.” But when God says I love you, it’s more like, “To infinity and beyond.”

Here’s the good news: it isn’t just Christians that God loves like this. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world (everybody, not just believers) that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus came to die as the sacrifice for our sins) so that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish (die in their sins and go to hell) but have everlasting life (heaven for eternity and peace in the here and now).” And the apostle Paul said that God did this even while we were still in our sins, rebellious and belligerent towards God. Now that’s love!

So Happy Birthday, Hayesie-poo! Bampy loves you! But not as much as God does.

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