Truly Humbled

Chaos is my life. There is not enough time in the day to accomplish all that a wife, mother, homemaker, employee, sister, daughter, or even a sane person must do, let alone what I feel called to do. I feel as though I frantically run from one obligation to another and leave so much undone and unsaid. I do the best that I can by myself. And I wonder if it is enough.

Yesterday’s post, Saying Good-bye, was written for a young man who left our boarding school. He was one of Coach’s advisees and a soccer player. He made a bad decision and is dealing with the repercussions of that. I wrote the poem when I thought he was still on campus awaiting the final verdict of the honor counsel that met the night before. What I didn’t know is that he was already gone. I e-mailed him the link as my good-bye.

I saw this boy almost every day for three years. This year was his senior year. He has a great sense of humor, always plays with my monkeys, and smiles frequently. I was myself with him. He saw me laugh, tell stories, and banter back and forth with Coach. He also saw me when I was angry and upset, sometimes with the monkeys and sometimes with him. And I can honestly say that I grew to love him.

He responded to my poem as he was on his long trip home. It was a lovely message, but the part that struck my heart were these words:

You know you are my second mother right.

And that made me cry. Made me miss him, wish I’d been able to say good-bye, to hold him as a mother would. It made me wish I had been present more, talked with him more, showed less anger and more love. But I realized that what I think isn’t enough God can use anyway. This boy knew I loved him, supported him, wanted the best for him. And though we never said it face to face, our hearts knew.

***

With that same heavy heart, I went to my Advanced Lay Speaker class last night. I shared a little about this boy and his journey. At one point during the evening, we prayed a prayer together that spoke to my hurting heart and gives me strength to be a better person, to let God use me more.

Lord, give me the wisdom to encourage not criticize; to understand rather than judge; to keep my words from defaming or belittling another, to actively show kindness and generosity rather than display a distant demeanor or a loathsome apathy. Enable me to uphold others and point them towards You with my actions, words, and yes, Lord, even with my thoughts. For only your compassion and strength can salvage me and save us all. Amen.

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