This past week I had the sacred privilege of sitting with my mother while she slowly and bravely made her trek through the valley of death. Watching her tiny frame prepare for its final breath was a holy invitation to reflect and give thanks.
Her body may have been the instrument offered to deliver me into this world, but our shared experiences – both the good and the bad – were God’s favorite tools to shape us both for the next.
She left me plenty of gifts. Besides a great spaghetti recipe, lessons in sewing and proper table manners – I also received deep spiritual gifts I’m convinced I wouldn’t have found any other way. They were more powerful than sermons or books – and delivered straight from our creator to benefit us both.
Through her, I learned about faith and forgiveness. She taught me grace, mercy, service and humility. Through our journey together, I learned to see Christ in all things and in every face.
She confessed to be an atheist most of her life and worked hard to hide the fearful little girl she really was. And yet God chose her to teach me about forgiveness – how it easily flows to mercy. And how fear really can transform into trust. I learned service isn’t an action – it’s communion.
Our relationship caused me to face my own judgmental and religious self. The bright light of God’s resolute love and limitless grace poured out for both of us continues to melt my pious heart.
She was a good mom, a loyal wife, a talented artist and gifted seamstress. But everyone knows the simple kind of life she lived fades easily and for the most part, will remain unsung.
Even though – I am confident her life never, ever went unnoticed or was considered insignificant. I’m also certain it was joyously celebrated by the grand welcoming committee in her Savior’s Kingdom. She will cry no more.
Tears are for me – for those of us left in this temporal world.
I will miss the journey of faith we shared. And I know I will see her again.
A special thanks to Emily Snider Re who generously shares her gift of photography with me. I picked her puzzle picture because life is never how it actually seems. We only see a small piece of the bigger plan at any given time and do best when we trust the complete picture will be as it should be.