|An old, faded Polaroid of my mom, back in the 6o's. She was so pretty!|
Those who don't believe in spirit visitation may want to stop reading now...
I was trying to get myself ready to go to church service, even though I didn't feel well. It's what my mom would have done. It didn't happen. Then I heard steps coming down the hallway, but all the doors were closed and nobody was in sight. Must be mom, I thought to myself, with a smile. Instead of pushing myself to go, I picked up my Bible, which belonged to my mother before it was mine. There are still some notes she wrote during church services tucked inside it. I read a few scriptures she had notated. I thought about Biblical rules versus grace. Many things in my life have evolved over the years. My faith in God is still as strong, but I have less tolerance for extreme views and for condemnation of others. I believe in leaving judgement to God, living the best I know how, and loving others as unconditionally as my human mind can manage to do.
As I sat thinking about what I've been taught over the years. I thought about the mind-set many Christians have towards those who don't share their exact point of view. I said to myself, "I refuse to be mean and unforgiving." Suddenly the three-way light across the room, clicked and turned up a notch. For a moment the room was flooded with an extra bright light, then it went back to normal. I felt my mom in the room. My mom, who loved people and refused to judge them or their life choices. Mom, who taught me to love even the unloveable. All the way from stray cats and dogs, to homeless people on the streets, to those who were defined by others as sinners. No one was beyond deserving her love and understanding. There was never a "lost cause" anywhere she looked. Just love and forgiveness. That doesn't mean she wasn't tried on occasion. It doesn't mean it was always easy. It means she took the effort to love, to set aside anger and judgement, and to extend herself beyond what our human nature often does. She offered a smile and a hand up! I learned some of my best lessons from my mother. I was truly blessed to have her in my life, and I am still being blessed! Happy Birthday, mom!
© 22Mar2015 ajj