May 8, 2011

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Mother's Day reflections - easy for some, hard for others.  At the risk of stirring up memories, I pray now that those who read this are covered in the mercy of the Lord, that your thoughts are in His hands and that He leads you in your pondering and that His Truth sets you free.

Remember mother always stirs memories and often brings us to a place of judgment: "I'd never do that to my kids", "I would have done things differently", "she did her best, but...", "she never understood", etc.  Whether it is your birth mother, adopted mother, foster mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, or other mother figure, how do we reconcile these thoughts as we follow God?

For many years, a critical spirit was evident in my life and God graciously taught me truth: "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." (Romans 2:1 NIV) and "do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12 NIV). We gain great insight into others when we purpose to look at them through Jesus's eyes "who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4).  God LOVES the worst sinner, He created them in His image - HIS IMAGE!!!  We need to cautiously guard the words of our mouths and the thoughts of our hearts towards any His precious children. lesson was to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).  In His mercy and goodness, He graciously led me each and every time, and still does - hallelujah!

So...consider what you do know about your mother (or other...); ask the Lord to let you put yourself in her place enough to understand a bit of why she may have done or said the things she did, good or not good.  My mother was one of four children raised during the Great Depression, her older sister died at 13 when Mom was preschool age (what did that do to the family??), she wore glasses from a young age and was often cruelly teased by other kids, married at 18 to a soldier just home from battle.  As a mother, she had 2 daughters 16 months apart, then her first son died at birth, 2 1/2 years later she had another daughter and nearly lost her life and her daughter's during the birth; 14 months later she had a son born with a handicap that broke her heart and changed her life; grandparents moved in to help.  For me to reflect on her emotions, thoughts, and actions as a mother during that time is nearly impossible and brings me to the reality that I CANNOT JUDGE; I have not walked in those shoes.

Mother, mother-in-law, sister, friend - we each know little of the daily realities others face (fathers, brothers, as well).  May God guide our thoughts and actions and cleanse us from all that is not of Him that His truth might set us free and your "joy may be full" (I John 1:4). Thank you, Mom, for all you gave, and thank you, Lord, for what You brought to my life through her.

Walk a Mile in My Shoes by Joe South (click link to hear song)

1 comment:

Kathy Benscoter said...

Thanks so much- This really spoke to my heart.