12 April 2010

Spiritual mothers

All the seven of us were recently honored to be invited to dinner with the family of a couple from our church celebrating their SEVENTIETH [70th] wedding anniversary. And when I say "family," I mean this couple's nine children and the two additional generations they, um, generated.

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.


MooreMama said...

Those old church ladies, they're alright. :)

Anonymous said...

What a blessing.... we are reminded that the Lord tells us that the older women are to train the younger women. Even our care, concern and actions train. We all need reminded of the importance of caring and being there to share in the good times as well as the difficult times. Understanding speaks volumes and is so encouraging. The Lord has given you a special gift - such a treasure. Thanks for sharing and reminding us we all have something to share and encourage others with. Debbie Stottlemyer

Elaine said...

How lovely! I am have been married but half as long as your beautiful friend. I can identify with both of you. My cup runneth over, too, even when I wanted to smash it ;)

Anonymous said...

14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. (Ecclesiastes 7)

lisa said...

That warms my heart!

So many women strengthen my faith by quietly living their lives and rearing their babies to His glory.

Thanks be to God.

Gauntlets said...

I think about your friend all the time, too. I also think often about the woman who was unable to make it to her bed before the baby dropped out. Ol' whats-her-name from the PP history books. And I always think about you and her and her, too, because thinking more and more about others keeps me from thinking of me and therein lies the boon.


Rebekah said...

>>Even our care, concern and actions train.

Yes. This lady never offers me helpful tips or suggests that I rethink some maternal strategy. She just makes sure that I know she understands and cares--which makes me a lot more inclined to accept any practical advice she might have to offer.

Reb. Mary said...

Neat-O. Not so strange a place to find encouragement--how much more meaningful her beautiful, encompassing honesty than the too-oft thoughtlessly proffered "enjoy every minute."