Sometimes God lets other people in on what God has planned for our lives before God lets us know. Sometimes God lets someone else in on a chunk of the plan; other times only a glimpse. This is about a glimpse.
Blake and I were commissioned as field personnel (read “missionaries”) last Wednesday night. It was a very special service and we are very grateful to the friends and family that came to express their support for our calling. While we were standing on the stage with the other newly appointed field personnel for our prayer of commissioning, I made the mistake of looking at my mother. I had already determined that I wasn’t going to look at Mom Hart because I figured the thought of sending her youngest to Chile might put her over the edge. My own mother has seven children and I always assume that, since she has so many, our leaving for South America won’t really put a damper on family occasions. I’m sure she would argue that fact and I know it’s silly of me to think that way, but percentage-wise, Blake and I make up a very small portion of the Ludlow family.
When I saw Mom’s tear-stained cheeks and the face that told me she was struggling to keep it together, I immediately joined her in her tears. I didn’t know why she was crying, but that didn’t really matter. All that mattered were the tears. Before I knew it, looking her way was causing me to get close to hiccuping. I averted my eyes and regained my composure, still wondering what it was that had made her cry so much. Would she miss my hugs? Or was she thinking about the line she’d have to stand in to get her passport?
By the time the service was over and it was time for the reception, Mom’s tears had slipped my mind. When she came to hug my neck and tell me how proud she was, she told me why she was crying and it really touched my heart. She reminded me of my father’s mother, who died when I was seven. Every year, Grandma would buy ornaments for each of her grandchildren and for a couple of years, for some odd reason, she randomly bought me religious themed ornaments. One year it was the Holy Family. Another year it was an angel. As I was a rather high-energy child, I’ve always figured she thought I really needed Jesus–moreso than my other siblings and cousins. Since Grandma’s death, Mom has continued buying us ornaments. Every once in a while, in an effort to remind me further of Grandma, she buys me a church or an angel or something.
When Mom hugged me at the reception she told me that it had dawned on her during the service that maybe Grandma knew something the rest of us didn’t. Maybe Grandma knew God had something special mapped out for my life and that’s what drove her to the religious ornaments. Maybe he’d given her a glimpse and that was her way of sharing it. I was so young when Grandma died, that I sometimes feel guilty for not remembering her more. It seems like she’s always been gone, so it doesn’t seem like she’s missing during so-called milestone times. I’m very grateful to my mother for helping me remember her as Blake and I start this journey of faith.
Perhaps churches and Holy Familes were all that was left on the shelves during her after-Christmas ornament shopping those years or perhaps she really wanted Jesus to calm me down and make me sit still in my chair, but this year when I hang them on my tree, I’ll think about something different.
In loving memory of Robbye Roebuck Ludlow. 1914-1992. I love you, Grandma.