This past Thursday marked one year since my mom went home to her Savior. On the morning of the day she slipped earth’s bonds, my cell phone rang: “She’s fading fast. Come quick.” I drove to my sister’s house and walked into Mom’s room. She opened her eyes and smiled.
She always smiled when she saw me. When I came home from school or play I would open the door and simultaneously call out her name “Mom!” The cheerful response would always come back to me, from some corner of our little house:
“Here. I’m here!”
Mom was the most here person I have ever known. Her happy, contented, comforting presence made me and my siblings want to be around her, to talk to her. In fact, I thought nothing of interrupting her at any time day or night. She never grumbled or told me to go away. I always felt as if she was just waiting for me to come and unload my troubles or tell her some exciting piece of news. No one got more excited over my joys or concerned about my trials than Mom.
This same “here-ness”—the Bible calls it “hospitality”—attracted a menagerie of children and adults to her home and company. She became a grandmother to all the neighborhood children, a confidant to young women and care giver to the elderly. No person, big or little, was ever an interruption. They were her ministry. Her mission field.
I’ve thought a lot about my mom this past year, of course. I’ve realized, more than ever, what a deep and abiding impact she has had on my life. And I’ve wondered at this. What is it about my mom that has so deeply marked my life and soul?
Because what’s so extraordinary about my mom is how un-extraordinary she was. She was an average woman who kept a modest home and made simple meals. She rose early every morning to read her Bible and pray. Then she made breakfast, packed lunches, went to Publix, sorted socks, swept the porch, dusted the ceramic birds, listened to her children. She rejoiced with those who rejoiced and cried with those who cried.
She didn’t need position or recognition or accomplishments to make her happy or give her satisfaction. She simply delighted in her Savior and sought to obey him by being faithful to serve where God had placed her.
She didn’t excel at anything in particular. Except faithfulness.
“Befriend faithfulness” the Psalmist exhorts us (37:3).
That’s what Mom did.
And that is what I long to do. I want to be faithful, like my mom was, for the rest of my ordinary days. I want to seek God each day through prayer and His Word. I want to be “here” for my husband, for my children, for the women in my church and on my street whom God calls me to serve. And when my ordinary race is run I want to hear those words: “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master” (Mt. 25:21).
Mom isn’t here anymore. And I miss her more than ever. But she is there. In heaven with her faithful Savior.
And I am quite sure she is smiling.