My hope is that if I tell my story clearly enough, I will come to understand its twists and turns, and then perhaps even its meanings. At the very least, I hope to be able to recognize some of the places where the Almighty God has been present within it.
~Robert Benson That We May Perfectly Love Thee
When reading the above quote from my morning devotional I knew beyond a doubt that it was meant for me, to explain in some small fashion why it is I blog.
I seldom have the “ah ha” moment during the course of an action. It comes later as an afterthought and it is then I clearly see the hand of God.
It was Mother’s Day, 1990, and as usual the
weather was unpredictable. I remember it
was grey, overcast and quite windy. This
was our last May in Ohio Ohio as we were moving to .
When church was over, the Hubs asked where I wanted to go for lunch in honor of Mother’s Day. I spontaneously uttered the name of a restaurant and was met with his look of “Really?” It had never been one of my favorite places to eat, but I let it stand nonetheless.
A faux waiter was holding the door for patrons as the wind was wildly reminiscent of March, not May. Once inside the establishment everyone who appeared to have or would ever excrete estrogen was presented with a carnation in honor of the Day. The line was long, snaking outside as the churches were emptying and the hungry saints were gathering for a feast.
Slowly the line proceeded to the register for the American ceremony of the pay-before-you-eat-everything-you-can-buffet-of-gluttony. Two steps forward, holding pattern for a few, then another step or two…
As was/is my custom I was observing the people around me. There were family units that had just come from church standing in their respective groups of 3, 5, 7 or even more persons. We were a group of three. That’s when I noticed her standing behind us. Elderly, alone and seemingly calm amid the crowd of hungry go-to-church-meeting-feed-me-now Christians.
So it began, that anxious rational of, “Where is her family? Is she meeting someone here? Why is she alone on Mother’s Day?” I even questioned myself for thinking these things when I asked Husband if he noticed her alone. “No,” he said, until I had pointed her out. I looked at him with my basset hound eyes and he said, “What do you want to do?”
I turned and asked her, “Excuse me, are you here with family or are you meeting someone?” She smiled kindly and said, “No, I’m here alone.” “Wonderful!” I said. “Would you consent to being our ‘surrogate mother’ for the day? His mother is in
Florida and mine is in ." She agreed and we presently were at
the cash register. Arizona
After getting our plates, introductions and blessing the meal we got to know our guest a bit. She had just returned from
to bury her husband. They had no children. She was, in essence, alone. Florida
Yes… that anxious rational… the nudging of the Holy Spirit that churns in the pit of my stomach. I’ve learned to pay attention. I always have something more to learn and more tenderness to bathe my heart and spirit in.
With Mother’s Day approaching I thought it might be appropriate to share this event. I am not sharing this as an “Oh look at me, aren't I just the most spiritual person you've ever beheld?” No, actually I know that by even posting this I’ve lost any reward that may have been ascribed, for anything we do should be done in secret and from a place in the heart that responds to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even the thought of a “reward” was not the reason I responded to this event. It was compassion, it was empathy, it was the leading of the Holy Spirit.
May you have a blessed Mother’s Day and may you be open to the Holy Spirit’s discernment!
PS James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.