As I was reading the gospel for this morning about the lost sheep and the lost coin – two stories about God’s willingness to find us no matter what (LK 15:1-10) – two different images came to mind. The first was of a picture created by Sister Marion Honors, an artist in my community. It is a print of the rather rotund homemaker, hair in a bun, bending low with her broom searching for the lost coin. Marion has many gifts, one of which is creating warmth in her representations of people and their stories in her art. This picture is a great illustration of what Jesus is trying to get across to his listeners and always makes me happy when I see it. From that first image came the second whose lesson is somewhat different but all the more vibrant because it is one of the earliest miracles of my life and concerns my mother’s faith.
My kindergarten classroom was in the basement of the high school building on our church campus. In addition to the main door, there was a stairway on the other side of the room that led up to a child-sized door above ground. One day while we were in class, my mother appeared at the door, bending down to get through, and asked Sister Mary Arcadius to have the children pray; she was on her way to the dump. In those days, 1953 to be exact, my father’s salary was $40 per week. My mother was the financier in the family and on that day she realized that she had thrown an envelope that she thought was empty into the trash but it contained the entire $40 from that week! Trusting us to lead her to the envelope that had already been collected and taken to the dump, she ducked out again and was gone. Sometime later when she appeared again she was waving the envelope from the door. The power of prayer was fixed in my consciousness from that day.
My mother’s faith was the engine of her life and certainly fueled not only her own days but mine and that of many others as well. Today I will thank God again for her example and for all those people who have strengthened me in times of need. I encourage you to do the same for the bright stars in your life’s sky.
NOTE: I’m leaving this morning for a rural region of New Hampshire to co-facilitate a short “Wisdom School” at a beautiful farm that has spotty cell service and is not set up yet for the internet. That means I will be on hiatus and the blog will not be appearing until Monday morning. Please pray with us for the people who will be delving into the deeper stream of wisdom Christianity and for Deborah, Bill and myself who will facilitate the exploration.