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IMG_4361Houston, Texas is my home.  This is America’s fastest growing city.  More than 2500 people move here and call this city their home every week.

To keep up with the bulging population of 6 million people the roads and elevated freeways define our city.  We are on the road constantly.  That means that we define our days by where our travels take us.

It is not about the journey here in Houston; it is about the destination.

My bride and I were on a standard 23 mile journey.  Our conversation was at the focal point of our time together on the road.  Suddenly, a flash of lightning made us both look skyward.

Dark foreboding clouds, pregnant with massive amounts of moisture, threatened all of the earthbound creatures with a torrent.  The heavens burst open and we were caught in a thunderstorm of Biblical proportions.  Traffic slowed to a crawl.  No one could see beyond 50 feet.

Just as quickly the rain stopped.  Texas-sized rains unleash themselves and then the world returns to normal.  That is when the experience becomes memorable.

My wife describes the aftermath of a storm with enthusiasm.  I am watching the busy traffic that we are in.  But, she is going on about the sky, the clouds and most importantly the rainbow.

Jokingly she says that I can pull over any time so she can capture a picture of the vivid rainbow splashed across the Houston sky. I laugh.  We have not yet reached our destination.

Yet, the temptation is too great.  With a couple of turns behind us, I capture just a glimpse of the multicolored phenomenon in the sky.  It is stunning.

On a quiet street, I spot a chance.  We pull over to the side of the road and stop before we arrive at our journey’s goal.  It is an unscheduled stop, unheard of in the lives of busy people.

There in front of us on the canvas of thunder head above our city is a rainbow.  It is beautiful.  Both of us focus our cellphone cameras and snap a shot.

By the time we boot up our cameras, the bow in the sky has already passed its prime.  It entered into its fade mode.  The colors were once rich and vibrant.

Even in its farewell phase, this portrait in the sky is a reminder of the Creator’s promise.  He will never destroy the whole earth by Flood again.  Noah heard it and the Bible recorded it for all of us to hear as well.

photo credit: brucefong photography

Dec 2013 031Grand parenting is a special treat.  My wife is totally absorbed into being a grandmother.  She looked forward this role with great anticipation.  Nothing about this season of life has disappointed or surprised her.

The biggest surprise has been my role.  I was not expecting any of it.  Sure, when I saw little children and heard their laughter, I enjoyed it.  Yet, when your own flesh and blood introduces the next generation, it is remarkable.

When my daughter placed her firstborn son in my arms I was hooked.  The warmth of the touch, the sound of the breathing, the movement of a little life finding a comfortable place and the eyes searching for satisfaction for its curiosities is hypnotic.

It surprised me how such a little life could feel so good.  Maybe I forgot how special it felt from the years of our own children cuddling next to me.  Yet, even when I search for long ago memories, this is still very different. Maybe it is the years of dealing with adults contrasts remarkably with a little infant snuggling comfortably in my arms.

At six months he has started smiling with his eyes. There is exuberant life in his infancy that displays itself with bounty.  An old Chinese proverb explains it: “The eyes are the window to the soul.”

Life sparkles in his eyes.  Curiosities are forming an endless appetite for exploring, touching, tasting, feeling and living.  I am looking forward to being a part of that learning.

We have not had a conversation yet.  My grandson and I just sit or walk together.  There are very few understandable words that are exchanged between us.

Nevertheless, a bond is forming.  He is secure in my grasp.  I hug him closely and it feels very good.

Maybe in the way that God creates us as humans, we naturally can feel that connection of love, devotion and protection.  From the warmth of that touch comes the sensation of trust, security and hope.  Those are magnanimous words that I look forward to explaining to him some day.

While he is cradled in my arms, he is safe.  I look forward to teaching him about the joys and dangers of the world.  Hopefully, I can pass on to him insights about people, smart ways to navigate through rough circumstances and how to invest in good choices.

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I look forward to having a part in nurturing his spiritual journey.  His pilgrimage with Jesus will be the greatest delight.  Our future holds countless conversations about the Savior.

photo credit: brucefong photography

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