I still remember the day I tried to share with my kids the spiritual truth that everyone sins. They responded with a passionate, “Not Grandma.” I had to shatter my children’s illusion, but there is still something in each of them that believes Grandma is as close to Jesus perfection as a soul can get this side of heaven. And I think they may be right.
I look back to my own childhood as an example. Oh, the selflessness of my mom. I can’t remember ever doing a load of laundry. I threw my dirty clothes in the hamper and in a couple of days, they magically reappeared clean and fresh in my drawers and closet. She never complained as she made dinner every night, or as she vacuumed and cleaned and dusted. And the patience…it just might qualify her for sainthood. I was NOT an easy teenager and there was only one incident that I can remember when her halo slipped just a tad. You can ask her about the day she threw a hairbrush at my hard head but don’t let her convince you she was trying to help with my grooming! I can only credit God and his great mercy that her aim wasn’t better.
My mother has taught me endless spiritual lessons and has been such an example of what BEING a Christian means. The greatest is a lesson on forgiveness and in teaching it she never had to utter one word.
My mom’s mother was not a nice woman. Having been abused as a child, she carried her hurt into every relationship, including the relationships with her two children. My grandmother’s greatest weapon was her tongue and she wielded it with tremendous accuracy toward the center of my mom’s tender heart. She told my mother that she never wanted children and then she backed up that statement with her actions the entirety of my mother’s life. And yet, because of her relationship with Christ, my mother honored her.
When my grandmother suffered a debilitating stroke, my mom made sure she received the best care possible. For ten years my mother made a weekly journey to nurture and care for the woman who should have, but never did the same for her. It was an exhausting and emotional ten years. While my grandmother never physically improved, God was bringing about a different healing. One of the things my grandmother’s stroke took from her was the use of her acidic tongue. With her voice silenced it allowed all of us to see her in a different light. This woman that pushed people away with her words now wanted you to come close, to hold her hand and to love on her. In the years of silence God gently brought restoration.
I was privileged to be there the day my grandmother went home to be with Jesus. My mom and uncle and I held her hands in ours and sang songs of God’s love while she was ushered into His kingdom. It was a sacred moment in knowing she was finally at peace, that the wounds that made her so bitter in life were wiped from her memory by His love and amazing grace.
So I thank my mom. I thank her for that lesson and so many more. I thank God for allowing me to be born to such a wonderful woman, who took all the hurt she suffered and instead of passing it on to the next generation, left it at all the foot of the cross.
Mother’s Day is approaching, and if God has blessed you with a remarkable mom, then take the day to celebrate her. Thank her for her love and patience and grace and for any lessons she may have taught you with her life and walk with the Lord.
And if your mother was not who you needed her to be then on Mother’s day run into the arms of your heavenly Father. He sees your pain, He understands and He is the very balm your wounded heart needs. He promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25) and He is faithful to keep all His promises.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.