I felt her the other day.
She was floating above me as usual.
Her mood was pensive. She was staring at me, lost in thought. Well not really staring at me, more like gazing past me, but into me.
She was the last thing I’d expected. I’d been doing my thing. You know, the thing in the vehicle. Reveling in the freedom of the open road with sunglasses swag and favorite CDs blaring. Singing along in full voice, matching every note because I can like that. And quite the vehicle it was. I keep it immaculate you know. Inside and out. Aint no shabby run of the mill.
And there she was. The one who raised me. The one who’d never obtained a driver’s license of her own. The one who’d never owned a vehicle. Her husband owned one at intervals, but mostly didn’t. And when he did, they were eye sores. Run down, and barely limping down the streets.
She usually stood on the street and waited for rides. Rides from kind neighbors or church people. I can remember waiting with her from time to time and hating every minute of it. And then, because asking for rides strained her pride and her heart, there was the monthly taxi ride to the grocery store where she filled the cabbie’s trunk with twenty bags of food to feed her flock.
As she hovered above me in the spirit world, I saw her peer into my eight seater. An eight seater! And only me in the relatively new SUV! “Where are the folks, Kathleen? You have all that space and you haven’t loaded up a needy family? Told them to climb on board and shared what you have? Have you forgotten your beginnings and from whence you came?” Oh Mama, how can I explain to you that I don’t really know any people who are in need? You have to understand that where we live there are no poor people, Mama. At least, if there are any, I never see them. And then I wondered how it is I moved so far away from that realm- where the poor people reside, where they hang out. Why don’t I see them anymore? What and who have I become?
In our defense we have made a conscious decision to move off the “hill” where we currently reside. The elite hill with all the other elite and special ones. We are moving back to the land of the usual, the common folk. But our move has been postponed for one year due to extenuating circumstances. Soon, Mama…Soon I can and will help more people. But as soon as the thought inadvertently left my lips, I knew soon wasn’t good enough. Somehow, on some deep level, I know that I have fallen short of the calling of my Master. It is my problem, and lies squarely on my shoulders.
This same day, I bought over $200 in groceries for two weeks for an abode that houses a mere two people. And as I was unloading the groceries into an already abundant pantry, and clearing out some deteriorated vegetables from the week prior, I saw her again with that same pensive look on her face. Mama wasn’t judging me. I didn’t feel that. I only felt her concern.
“You have so much Kathleen and you are only two people. Dear, why are you throwing that out? How could you have let that go to waste? You know I could have fed all seven of you kids and your Father on what you throw out each week. Precious food that could have meant the difference between my children going hungry and health to their bones. Couldn’t you try a little harder to preserve what you have and share with more people? You have so much.” So much. She was right. And for the first time in a long time, I hung my head in shame.
Shame. It is a forgotten word. And I’ve been above it for so long. I hardly ever wear it any more. Shame is kind of outdated isn’t it? Kind of like repentance. I mean, who really does that anymore?
Excuse me. I have a date with my knees. On the floor. With the Well Spring of Life. He can fill me up and fix me. Remedy this mess. Right this wrong.
Don’t shower me with excuses. I know what I need. This is between me and God. This is the difference between a seared conscience and a broken spirit.
Still working your magic, Mama. Long after you’re gone. Those prayers you prayed for my soul are still producing roots that are running deep. May God help me.
I love you Mama. And though I don’t deserve you, I’m always glad when you come.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1