Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten, the instructions said. I was in a small group and we were all looking that an adaptability scale, to determine how well we are able to deal with change. The bottom of the scale, one, was described, “like granite” and 10 was described “like clay.” I thought of all the times in my life when I’ve experienced change and pondered how I was able dealt with it. I rated myself at about a 7. As I discussed my choice with the group, I realized that my ability to adapt and accept change is in great part, due to my mother.
When my cat (one of three) disappeared, Mom helped me to imagine the kitten being cuddled by a lonely little girl who really needed something warm and furry to cling to. When my father’s business suddenly folded and they were forced to sell the home I’d grown up in, my mother hid her tears from us kids and made it into an adventure – a new house, new friends, oh boy! When my dad went into hospital for surgery, she gathered us all on our knees to pray and as the quiet of the house seeped into us she whispered, “It’s going to be fine. Whatever happens, it’s going to be all right.”
Mother’s day makes me think about my mom’s legacy and I want to honour her. Her continued optimism rubbed off. As a child and young adult I saw the world as an adventure, my possessions of greatest use when they could be shared, and my faith something that was powerful and real. Mom’s determination to shield her children from the ugly side of life resulted in a childhood where we felt safe and loved. She wasn’t always able to protect us, but she was always able to turn our hearts and minds to better things, to make the ugly beautiful and help us envision a future.
There is much in life that is not noble or pure or lovely. We must face that reality every day, but as believers in Christ we also have a hope that is imbedded in us, a hope that someday all will be redeemed.
God has told us to turn our hearts and minds in that way, and the Apostle Paul echoed that guidance in the book of Philippians, chapter 4 verse 8 – “… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
And write about such things. No, we don’t have to write about only happy days and quiet nights, but as writers of faith we have a responsibility to in some way redeem what is not good, shine God’s light into the dark corners and broadcast His hope.
Carolyn Arends puts it well in her song, Love Was Here First – “Now everything’s broken and everything fails. We can’t quite imagine that love will prevail. We’ve got to remember when the bad goes to worse, Love was here first.”
And Love will prevail.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. The sequel to One Smooth Stone will be released in 2011Visit her website at www.vinemarc.com