We are drawn to stories. The heroes. The villains. The supporting characters. The conflict. The hurt. The pain. The bitterness. The comfort. The grace. The mercy. The forgiveness. The climax. The resolution. The triumph and celebration.
I believe we are drawn to stories…because we always try to find ourselves in them.
Who am I? What part do I play? What is my role? Am I the one causing hurt…or the one comforting? Do I inflict pain…or do I grant mercy? Have I become bitter…or do I forgive? Do I continue to hate…or do I choose to love?
Of course there are choices throughout the story.
A character can be molded and shaped by situations and circumstances, or by the lessons learned as the story twists and turns.
But woven into the fabric of every situation, circumstance, and lesson learned, we find a supporting cast with their own unique stories that have, and will continue to, influence and shape our own stories.
While it is true that some of these individuals carve valleys into the landscape of our story, others work the fertile soil of our lives to show us heights we would have never seen otherwise.
They pass along their heart and sense of selflessness to their sons and daughters… and the sons and daughters of future generations.
But it is not by word alone…but by word and flesh.
This perfectly describes my mother.
For her daily example in word and flesh… I am eternally grateful.
Her tender and gentle shaping
Her undying love for her children
Made me who I am today.
And she continues to work the fertile soil of my life so I might see greater heights.
It is because of her that I stand tall and see more clearly.
But my mom does more than simply nourish the soil of my life.
She is also a seed sower.
The school bus pulled up early on a cool fall morning. A little man stood with his red satchel beside his mom in anticipation. The doors opened wide. The little man took the gifts from his mom and stepped onto the bus. He handed a box of handkerchiefs and a Snickers bar to the bus driver.
I gave because my mother always gave selflessly.
She has always been a giver.
A giver to her family and to others.
Time, gifts, money, and instruction, she has never failed to give.
Even when we did not have much. Even when she battled cancer.
She continued to give.
Not begrudgingly. She did it without complaint. She did not expect anything in return.
She gave of herself to others.
The seed of selfless giving was planted in me. This seed took root in the fertile soil of my life. This seed was watered by the Spirit. And the shoot broke forth from the fertile ground.
The tree extended branches and produced an abundance of fruit. The fruit fell to the ground and scattered more seeds. The seeds of giving and selflessness were planted in me by my mom.
They grew to produce in me the fruit of giving and selflessness to others.
And that cycle continues.
From person to person.
From generation to generation.
My mother made me a fruit bearer and a seed sower.
A part of her will always live and carry on with me… as I continue to pass along what was given to me.
In and through my own children.
To my friends.
And even among my enemies.
I know who I am today and I know what role I play in this life because of my mother.
Happy Mother’s Day mom. My words are insufficient… but it is the best I have.
I love you.