He’s been surprising us since birth. Well, actually he started surprising us before he was born. My reference here is to our one and only son.

Sammie’s pregnancy with him was a surprise. We thought we were done with three females, but nine years after the baby girl, we learned that another blessing was on its way.

His gender was a surprise. Oh, I wanted a boy to pass the name on, but with three girls we just did not expect a male child. My daddy had eight sisters and he was the only brother. His youngest sister, my Aunt Rosena, reminded me that Buford was number four and after that it didn’t matter. Still, our hopes for a little boy were guarded.

Date of birth was a surprise ― April 1; so was his size ― 9 pounds, 5 ounces. He grew up to be quite large, too; 6 foot 5, and very muscular.

As a child he loved surprises, especially if he was the surpriser. As he matured, his joy in surprising others, especially his mother, increased.

On Friday before Mother’s Day, he called me and said, “I’m sending Mom a Mother’s Day surprise. It will be delivered tomorrow and should be on the porch in the morning, or early afternoon.”

I was doing yardwork in the backyard when my phone rang on Saturday. It was Stephen. “I’m tracking the delivery of Mom’s Mother’s Day present and it’s on the porch...right now. Tell her to go look.”

How can he know that? I thought as I went to the back door and hollered for Sammie to check the front porch.

“How can he know that?” she asked as she started toward the front door.

Then she saw Anderson’s face peeking through the front door window and she lost it. Throwing the door open, she fell to her knees and lots of hugging started happening. I was as surprised as she was. We had just been talking about how we couldn’t wait to see the grandchildren when this COVID thing slows down. It had been two months and we were having “stinking cute grandkids withdrawal.”

As I hurried through the house, Stephen and Whitney appeared and we all had a time of celebration. What a wonderful Mother’s Day gift, special delivery from Mt. Juliet to our front door. And Papa got to share.

Grayson and Anderson jumped up and down in the excitement and squealed, gleefully, “We surprised you, Nahnee! We surprised you!”

Our son has always been filled with surprises. Now his sons are relishing the same joy of bringing excitement to those they love. They were able to surprise their other grandparents that weekend, too. Surprises that have a happy ending are some of the greatest of life’s blessings.

God often surprises us, too. Sometimes it is by bringing a joyful completion to an experience that seemed, at first, to fill our hearts with sadness. Sometimes it is just by walking with us through dark valleys and surprising us with His grace, His glory, His presence during a very tough time.

Never forget Ephesians 3:20, which tells us that God is able to so much more than we ask or can even imagine. He often causes the unexpected to happen.

There are five more stinking cute grandkids that haven’t been squeezed by Nahnee and Papa in weeks. I can hardly wait for Him to make our reunion with them a reality, too.

Steve Playl — chaplain, columnist, college instructor and former pastor — can be contacted at playlsr@yahoo.com.

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