I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free! Psalm 119:32, NIV1984

Sunday, May 13, 2012

For living these things

It's been a running joke in our family for a long time:  if you grew up in my parent's home or have had the privilege of staying there for a night or a number of years . . . you never knew who you were going to meet when you walked down the hall in the morning.  Really. 

My parents have housed missionaries, wayward teenagers, children rescued from abuse, friends whose new homes weren't ready to be moved into, neighbors who were too sick to care for themselves, friends and friends of friends and family members of friends who were in our city for medical treatment, ex-cons-turned-missionaries, college students, elderly family members, and complete strangers who needed a safe place to spend the night...or six months.

And here's the thing, the part of that that matters:  my parents didn't just tell us that we should love the Lord with all our hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves.  They showed us.  They lived it in front of us every single day.  They still do.

My mom must have cooked 10,000 meals, scrubbed at least as many sinks, and changed six times that many sheets.  She and my dad have spent countless hours listening, encouraging, counseling, and praying with the those who have found shelter in their home.

It has always been a team effort - this hosting of the masses - something my mom and dad did together, the way they became the hands and feet of Jesus to the world around them. But much of the work of it, the nitty-gritty part, fell to my mom.

So today, on Mother's Day, for this and so much more, I just wanted to say . . . for all you did for the masses, Mom, and for all you did for me . . . thank you.  We noticed. I noticed. And it mattered.  It still does.

Thank you . . .
For welcoming in strangers
For feeding our friends
For taking care of babies and the children of strangers and loving them as your very own
For homemade cookies in the oven after school
For always staying up till we got home
For answering 1,000 late night phone calls
For wiping 10,000 tears
For all those dresses that you made by hand
For driving three hours to help me rip seams
For pulling out your Bible and stacks of commentaries and helping us wade through the questions
For countless nights you calmed the raging fears from nightmares
For always answering the phone -still- even when you're at lunch with a friend
For buying me shoes so my feet wouldn't hurt
For taking me shopping when I needed new clothes
For hosting birthday parties and dinners and luncheons for all of us
For coming in the middle of the night when we had to make a run to the E.R.
For dropping everything when we had to make another E.R. run
For lime sherbert floats when I was sick
For sitting on the edge of my bed when I was a teenager, listening as I recounted the day
For beach trips with friends
For sesame chicken on my birthday
For always making room for one more
For the hours of preparation and research that went into the Passover Seder
For showing us what it means to love your neighbor
For loving the Lord
For loving Israel
For loving Dad
For loving us
For loving me

But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age, they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
They will declare, "The LORD is just!
He is my rock ..."
Psalm 92:12-15 NLT

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