The exalted mother of this family is always very kind to me, and has a worry I recognize behind her eyes when she asks me, "How are you doing?" She knows.
At this celebration, she sought me out (!) to thank us for coming and we stood there, two shy girls, not knowing what to say to each other despite our mutual affinity. But after we got through the requisite pleasantries of the day, she said to me, "I'm so happy now. But then, I just thought, 'Why, God?'"
"Why, God?" indeed. Why me when so many others are better suited, better hearted; and why can the weight of a blessing be so heavy in this broken world? Could it be that this gracious, humble, gentle, and longsuffering sister felt this way too? Strange words in which to find encouragement, but I did. No temptation has seized us except what is common to man, or even woman.
Shyness notwithstanding, the one thing this lady and say to each other whenever we cross paths is, "I think of you all the time." I know why I think of her: she is virtually the only real-life neighbor I have who can serve as a role model for my specific situation. I can watch her lean, pew by pew, up to our Lord's altar, and marvel at what this now bent and fragile person has borne. And although I do not think myself worthy of her thoughts, I think I know why she thinks of me anyway: the same reason I think of those at the very beginning of this road, of my own daughters, of all my younger sisters in this struggle. Their trials are precious to me.
At her party, she said another thing to me: "My cup runneth over." May the Lord deal with all of us so favorably.