Grant Swank
Christmas: The Good Friday baby
By Grant Swank
December 2, 2008

Heidi stretched across her bed, looking straight ahead into the nursery where her baby boy lay in his crib.

Grant Michael Wray was born on Good Friday that year. Now it was the first of December. How he had grown.

Heidi waved her hand at Grant. Just as quickly, Baby smiled back at his mother's happy face. Then he raised his hand alongside the crib slats.

"Your child is so healthy," a friend remarked the day before. "Thank God for healthy children."

Heidi, a Christian, knew full well the worth of lifting her grateful heart to God in thanksgiving for the life He had brought her and her husband, Brett.

This was their first.

He was born surrounded by loving family on both sides. Both grandfathers are pastors. Both grandmothers are loving parsonage partners. The aunts and uncles of the little one likewise are ardent believers.

While Heidi was spending the mid-morning with sign language communications with Grant, Brett was fast at work in the living room. It was one of those huge rooms in the Tudor-styled mansion where eleven high school-age boys resided at the New England private school.

Heidi served as overseer for the house.. She and her family had their own private living quarters; but their furniture from their previous dwelling was positioned in the mansion's living room.

Christmas was approaching quickly.

That is why Brett was busy at work. I helped him by vacuuming and dusting. He did some electronic work in setting up the flat-screen TV with companion equipment. It all had to be put in place in such a way as not to disturb the ambiance.

A mammoth fireplace stood sentry in the very middle of the living room's main wall. Above it was the stately mantel — a large wood beam, dark-colored.

Near the fireplace was a grand piano.

On the other side of the room was a giant pool table where students hung out most evenings.

In the very center of the room were the hulking sofa, matching chairs and hassocks. A large, rectangular Oriental rug spread itself between the fireplace and sofa.

Heidi was enjoying her relaxing moments with Baby as Brett and I planned Christmas surprises for the two of them in the living room.

Of course, she would be chief when it came to holly berries and greenery lacing the room. She had a way with positioning décor that brought out the finest in a space.

Grant would spend his first Christmastide with a caring clan and surrounded by the best they could offer in the way of trimmings befitting the holy season.

It was my delight to see this young couple with their first child preparing for the Christ Child's birth celebration. I knew that because they were committed to Christ, His blessing would dwell within their hearts. And because of that, their home would be smiled upon from above.

Baby was quite fortunate to have such a start on this confused planet. Many other little ones come into the world without parents, without much of a future, without the message of salvation coupling their tomorrows.

"Thank you, Jesus, for bringing into our lives this year a handsome child born on Good Friday.

"Now this Christmas we offer him again to You for your hands to cast in love every moment approaching. In that is our hope. In that is our assurance," I prayed as I walked toward the nursery.

"So how's your morning going?" I asked a glowing, young mother.

"Look, Dad. He keeps smiling at me, lifting his hand as if to wave at me."

"He's precious, Heidi. He's quite precious. Thank God."

And with that, Merry Christmas everyone.

© Grant Swank


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Grant Swank

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is a pastor at New Hope Church in Windham, Maine... (more)

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