She wiped his toddler nose
and held his hand
and told him stories as he sat on her lap,
stories of the ancestors,
ancient and recent,
stories of her childhood.
She expressed her joy and love and gratitude
to him through her actions and words
and in her prayers.
She delighted in the times he
and her husband spent together,
learning how to saw and carve and nail,
and how to invite God into everyday work,
to begin and end the day the same way—in prayer.
Her husband taught him about growing into a man,
gentle, respectful, generous.
She expected him to become a preacher,
a rabbi, a leader, or a combination,
but not a revolutionary.
Yet her biggest surprise was that at his essence
he was a lover.
He could melt hearts,
and heal hatred
in those brave enough to spend time with him.
And she knew his parents
had not taught this precious gift,
although they welcomed and encouraged it.
No, this most precious, essential gift
was Godself living in him,
a gift he shared so freely,
a gift that we all have been given,
a gift we are challenged to accept and to live.