I’d do anything within reason for most people who had a real need. But YOU. You needed nothing that wasn’t being given you already and, just to see you, your Papa and I drove 17 hours, part of which was driven in the wee small hours of the morning. Your papa doesn’t do that for anyone but you (…ok, perhaps for four other little people we love)! It was worth the drive. You, the only Colley name-carrier in all of our extended family, have wonderful dark eyes, brown hair, and you have a sister who’s two and dotes on you. That look in her eyes is pretty fun to watch, too.
I’ll make your letter short and sweet. We don’t want too much. We only want you to move closer to your mammy and papa. We want to get to witness some of your first laughs, bites, crawls and steps. We want to get to play games with you and swing you in the big tree swing in our yard. We want to take romps in the woods behind our house and take you to the lake and watch you catch your first fish and then to the adjoining playground and slide and climb and play in the sand with you. We want to be able to come to your ball games and take you to the putt-putt course and the bowling alley.
We can’t be geographically close to you right now, so we’ll just take advantage of every little chance we get. But more than we want you to grow up close to us, we want you to grow up close to God. This very biggest wish of ours is something we already know (assuming you get to grow into a man) is a happening thing. This wish eclipses all others in our hearts. We watched your sister Maggie say almost all of the books of the Bible last week. We listened to her quote her “Bible words.” She explained to us what it means to repent and that most of all “we want to be just like Jesus.” Most of all, we want that for you. MOST. OF. ALL!
Your great-grandfather used to say “God’s best people are children.” We agree. you are completely and humbly dependent. You are pure and innocent. You are eager to learn and free of worry. You are so much of what we want to be. “Except (we) become as little children, (we) cannot inherit the kingdom.”
Your mother and daddy are determined. As I watched you in your very first Bible time when you were just over 24 hours old, I thought about the big job your mama and dad are taking on. You will hear His word every night for the next 18 years or so. That’s about 6570 family Bible times. You will have a couple of pairs of grandparents say your name to God, along with your praying parents, every single night. That’s about 20,000 times (at least) that the Father will hear your name before you leave home.
Ellis, if you preach the gospel, you will be a fifth generation gospel preacher. But, whether or not you do, you will be a fifth generation child of God. That’s all we want, because every Christian, by definition, is a follower of Christ. That’s all we want because, if you’re a follower, then you will follow Him one day all the way to a place where your papa and mammy will be waiting for you. It will be a place where we really can live close to you, forever and always.
We love you.
Mammy and Papa
P.S. Your grandfather put your sweet face up on the big screen before he preached today. I thought his buttons would pop off right there on that pulpit stage!