Nine simple words
The truth came in nine simple words. And what they left in their wake was peace and joy. I’ll share the words, but first I’ll add a few of my own to give them context.
Like many, my life has been dramatically rearranged by Covid-19. One day before the virus hit our community, my precious 96-year-old Mom took a bad fall. She lives in a retirement community that she loves. And though she needed help, she really didn’t want to leave what had become her beautiful home for more than a decade.
So I stepped in to help her. For seven weeks all residents were isolated in their rooms – and that included me in my Mom’s small one-bedroom apartment. The Lord gently healed her wounded parts but she still needed help.
I was granted the privilege of coming back each day to care for her. And I entered what has become, so far, seven months of placing myself in a protective bubble to avoid any possibility of bringing this horrible virus to a community of elderly people.
I missed some special events as, no doubt, you have also. They included: my sister’s wedding, a special anniversary at the beach, birthday parties, including my own landmark step into a new decade, and get-togethers with family and friends.
It has all been worth it. The privilege of making my wonderful Mom’s last months, or years, of life safe and happy have been one of the great privileges of my life. I would not trade these priceless daily hours for anything.
Early on the Lord made my focus clear: Mom’s well-being. And to do this I spent months setting aside any thoughts of “what’s next?” Then one day I had the opportunity to imagine what my life might look like when Mom’s ever after begins.
I was reading Max Lucado’s newest book:
Chapter two in this study of the miracles in the Gospel of John gripped me and hasn’t let go.
You probably know the story well. Jesus and the disciples were invited to a wedding. The wine ran out, a big mistake in those days. Jesus’ Mother came to him and simply said: “They have no more wine.” (John 2:3)
We have no record of Mary advising her son about what to do, but her request made evident she trusted him to do something.
Max says it this way:
“No fanfare. No drama mama. She knew the problem. She knew the provider. She connected the first with the second.”
Her response: “His mother told the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” (John 2:5)
And then the miracle. Six stone jars filled with water became full of fine wine. According to Max’s calculations: “enough wine for – hang on to your hats – 765 bottles of wine!”
I’ve read the story of Jesus’ miracle many times, amazed at the miracle but didn’t pause long enough to wonder “why this?” Max asks it for me: “Of all the needs of people on the planet, why would bone-dry wine vats matter?
“It mattered to Jesus because it mattered to Mary.”
That is the truth that created a new level of peace and joy into my heart.
Jesus’ Mother mattered to Him, as my Mother does to me.
I sat with the truth for a while, allowing myself to feel all the love I have for Mom and realizing that’s the love Jesus has for me…and more.
My future, when Mom leaves for heaven, matters to Jesus. And I began to image a different life, a life I’d never known before, a life without my precious Mom’s presence. And I simply laid it out before the Lord. Head raised. Hands open.
I talked to Him about the grief, the healing, and my next steps. I didn’t tell Him what to do, what I’d need and how I’d move on. In the quiet I did what Mary modeled for me:
She knew the problem. She knew the provider. She connected the first with the second.
And in the depth of my heart I knew it mattered to Him because I matter to Him.
That’s the truth that led me to peace and joy. I pray it will do the same for you.
Do you have the privilege of loving someone more than you love yourself?
Let your imagination carry you to the great love Jesus has for you and know that what matters to you, matters to Him.
And thanks for sitting still with me today. :-)