Wisdom for my Grandchild — Jim Burklo, USA

Written to welcome a newborn grandson, Jim’s beautiful and wise words can be adapted easily for any grandchild.

… and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.

Genesis 28.14

I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations….

Isaiah 42.6

Now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.

Blessing of Simeon, Luke 2.29-32

My dear grandson, Jacob –
Precious crown of creation swaddled in a blanket,
Sleeping deep in heavenly peace –
To the Love who is God I give thanks for your birth,
And on behalf of this world I offer you welcome.
Gazing into the perfect soft serenity of your face,
You content and fulfill the round of my days.

You fill me with hope –
For me, for you, and for this world.
As my powers diminish,
I trust yours to increase,
Putting them into Love’s service.

You will know fear.
But may you know the perfect Love that casts it out.

You will know anger.
But may the divine creativity within you
Cleverly re-use and re-cycle it into materials
For building a better world.

You will know selfishness
But may you know that your self
Includes everyone else’s,
And speak and act accordingly.

May you keep asking “Who am I?”
Until the answer comes to you
With a joyful laugh.

You will want others to listen to you.
May you show them how to listen to you
By being an attentive listener yourself.
Intently observe your own thoughts and sensations
With an open heart and mind.
Do the same for other people.
This deep attention is the Love who is God.

May you stay giddy with the wonder of discovery
Not just as a young child,
But for all your days on this astounding mysterious earth.

May you delight in what you don’t know
As much as in what you have learned,
So that your joy in learning never ends.

May you seek facts, following where they lead,
And cultivate the wisdom to make good use of them.

May you measure yourself not by inches nor by feet
But rather by how well you treat the most vulnerable people,
People with less power and status than yourself –
People you know, as well as people you’ll never meet.

May you “learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1: 17) –
Through acts of personal charity
And also through voting and civic engagement,
So that your intentions for kindness are made effective in society.

And may you feel the joy
That flows from your acts of kindness and advocacy for justice.

May you enjoy your family
And learn from our foolishness and wisdom –
Avoiding repetition of our mistakes,
Continuing the traditions that serve your soul.

May you wander and wonder in wilderness,
So that you may more fully feel your place in the order of nature;
May you be elevated with humility as you gaze at the stars.
And may you defend this precious, delicate earth
For its own sake
And so that your children’s children’s children can enjoy it.

May you grow into manhood [adulthood]:
Taking responsibility for your life,
Taking little credit and dispensing little blame,
Honoring women [others] with reverence,
Claiming the courage of your convictions,
Avoiding harm to all beings,
Showing your strength
Through service, patience, and forbearance.

Like your forefather Jacob, who became Israel,
You will struggle.
You will fail.
You will hurt.
But may your wounds be openings
Through which Love flows between you and others.
May your own failings
Give you compassion for those of others.
May your pain be relieved,
But may it also be redeemed
Through your kindness to others.

And may your good works be in number
As the grains of dust upon the earth,
Spread abroad to the west and to the east
And to the north and to the south.
Amen!

Visit Jim’s website MindfulChristianity to read more of his writings.