“If we could see beyond today as God can see…” is my mother’s favorite song. And since October 2011, I have been challenged and inspired to seek the gifts God brings each day, through my photography, through Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, and of course, through God’s Word.
I have not had a true conversation with my mother in almost a dozen years when she developed Alzheimer’s. Today she is mute, sleeps most of the time, and has not known me for nearly three years or more. And yet, despite the pain of seeing this wonderful woman await her Bridegroom as she endures what Robert Schaefer calls “the identity thief of the 21st century”, I know there are gifts God brings in the middle of it all. That is, what Ann Voskamp calls, “Hard Eucharisteos.”
I am incredibly grateful beyond words for the 55 years she has lived out her faith before me, for demonstrating a servant’s heart as she cared for her mother 24/7 for the last years of her life, and for her unwavering walk with Jesus that influenced me to walk with Him, also.
But what about now — what about in the present? Her hair is now long and I can french braid it freshly when I visit. I can still touch her hand and pray with her and breathe in her presence. I can feed her a strawberry sundae from McDonalds and play her favorite hymns and gospel songs from my laptop, knowing that the Spirit still ministers to hers. I can find reasons to praise Him for the hard Eucharisteo…that makes my world stop and ponder about what is really important. And I can kiss her forehead and stroke her face…little acts that someday I won’t be afforded. I can hear her singing her favorite song in my memory:
If we could see beyond today as God can see,
If all the clouds should roll away, the shadows flee;
Oe’r present griefs we would not fret, Each sorrow we would soon forget.
For many joys are waiting yet for you and me.
If we could see, if we could know, we often say,
But God in love, a veil doth throw, across our way
We cannot see what lies before
And so we cling to Him the more.
He leads us til this life is o’er, trust and obey.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!