Mother’s Day Reading

May 13th, 2012

Invisible Mother…..

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response,
the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone
and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see
I’m on the phone?’

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or
sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because
no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.. The invisible Mom. Some days
I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie
this? Can you open this??

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a
clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer,
‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around
5:30, please.’

Some days I’m a crystal ball; ‘Where’s my other sock?, Where’s my
phone?, What’s for dinner?’

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the
eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had
disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s
going, she’s going, she’s gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of
a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,
and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was
sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling
pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped
package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great
cathedrals of Europe .
I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription:
‘With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devoured – the book. And I would
discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after
which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great
cathedrals – we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave
their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They
made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their
building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw
everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a
tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man,
‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that
will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman
replied, ‘Because God sees.’

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was
almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake
you’ve baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small
for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral,
but you can’t see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As
one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see
finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could
ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing
to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend
he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4
in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a
turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That
would mean I’d built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to
come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend,
he’d say, ‘You’re gonna love it there…’

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if
we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world
will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that
has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

To all the wonderful mothers out there!!
May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,

2 Responses to “Mother’s Day Reading”

  1. Alessandro says:

    Just beautiful. And sad. And still meaningful, to me.

  2. wendy says:

    i love this. a wonderful reminder that as mothers, we are indeed, building.

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