Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just in time for Mother's day....

--- Invisible Mother.......
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, theway one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone andask me a question.
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not.
No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor,or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me atall.
I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands,nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being.. I'm aclock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'Whatnumber is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30,please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once20held books and theeyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude-but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seenagain. She's going; she's going; she is gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of afriend from England ...
Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going onand on about the hotel she stayed in.
I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together sowell. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.
I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with abeautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe ..
I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read herinscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of whatyou are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I woulddiscover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, afterwhich I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the greatcathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave theirwhole lives for a work they would never see finished.
They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of theirbuilding was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary sto ry in the book told of a rich man who came to visit thecathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tinybird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why areyou spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will becovered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied,'Because God sees.' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fallinto place.
It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte.I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around youdoes. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, nocupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. Youare building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it willbecome.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not adisease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of myown self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. Asone of the people who show up at a job that they will never seefinished, to work on something that their name will never be on. Thewriter of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could everbe built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing tosacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friendhe's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4inthe morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkeyfor three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That wouldmean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself.... I just want him towant to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to hisfriend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we'redoing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world willmarvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has beenadded to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Great Job, MOM!

Hope this encourages you when the going gets tough as it sometimes does.We never know what our finished products will turn out to be because ofour perseverance.

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