Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Grace

This may not be as polished as I’d ideally like it to be but I need to get this written down before I forget. Before some of the crispness of these memories fade.

In Les Miserables Jean Valjean, after spending some time in jail, is finally released. Upon his release he is shown hospitality by a bishop. He repays his host’s hospitality by stealing his silverware. However, he does not get away with it and the police capture him. When he is brought back, the bishop protects him and pretends that the silverware is a gift. It is a powerful portrayal of grace and Valjean is encouraged to remember this moment in one of my favorite songs from the musical:

My friend you left so early
Surely something slipped your mind
You forgot I gave these also
Would you leave the best behind?
Remember this, my brother
See in this some higher plan
You must use this precious silver
To become an honest man
By the witness of the martyrs
By the passion and the blood
God has raised you out of darkness
I have bought your soul for God!


In the Bible, God shows some similar grace to the Israelites who have been captured and in slavery for many years. He leads them out of the situation but they too are warned (Exodus 13:13-14; Deuteronomy 6:12) not to forget where they came from.

I became a mother at the age of 35. I had spent years celebrating from the sidelines. I loved my nieces and nephews as much as an aunt could. But, it was a peripheral relationship and I knew it.

In the last week Abigail has been cranky in someone else’s arms more than once. I would take her and in a few moments have been able to soothe her. For 35 years I have had to pass the child back to his/her mother when the crankiness wouldn’t stop. I do not take this for granted. I do not take this lightly. I have never been the one.

Years ago a friend of mine made an embroidered wall hanging for my mom. It was about grandchildren and at the bottom of the piece were the names of Mom’s grandchildren. On occasion I would have to pass this sampler back to my friend so that she could embroider the newest grandchild’s name on it. This week, it’s sitting in my house, waiting for me to pass it on to have my child’s name added to it. I honestly never thought that would be the case.

Years from now being a mother will seem like something I've always done. Familiar and probably at times even a little undesirable. But, no matter what, I never want to forget where I came from.

24 Comments:

Blogger DubbleUArBee said...

Wow, Cynthia. I am humbled. A tear came to my eye as I remembered first Les Miserables and then the sampler. I will GLADLY cross-stitch Abigail's name. Wow. God has done great things. Correction: IS doing great things.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

oh cynthia
i've finally figured out why you radiate so much grace as a mother and why your child is a reservoir of peace.
much love
and
admiration

9:27 PM  
Anonymous bbb said...

Wow!

11:26 PM  
Blogger Nichole said...

Reading that was a blessing. Thank you!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Accidental Poet said...

I hear you. All those long years of waiting ...it was no nice to have a baby I didn't have to give back. It's ten years, and I still feel lucky.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Joyska said...

cynthia... just this morning I was listening to a teaching cd that mentioned Les Miserables and the Israelites, as well as the story of Hosea and Gomer. i was asking some hard questions, and your post confirmed one of them! beautifully written (as always) and full of God's grace!

And I LOVE that Abby has been such a gift to you! Can't wait to come and visit!

10:47 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

hi there....you don't know me. i don't think we have ever met...i was "blog surfing" and found you and just read your recent post and wanted to tell you how much i can identify with what you have shared. i too never imagined in my wildest dreams that i would be a mother. i also just became a mother for the first time at age 33. it's an amazing gift that i never dreamed i get!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Thank you for that reminder Cynthia. I have been a mother *forever* and sometimes, I need a reminder of what an incredible blessing that is.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Sis said...

Hello. Your post moved me also to speak up for the first time. I'm Raehan's sister and I've been reading your blog via hers for several months -- we were both pregnant at the same time and now are both new mothers. I'm a mom at 40 and I also thought it wasn't going to happen, I have armfuls of nieces and nephews and have been a doting aunt to them and now I can hardly believe that I have my own child in my arms. My boy is 3 months -- as I read your blog I think what I have to look forward to a month down the line. Your quote from Les Mis is my very favorite and I hadn't thought til now about how it relates to motherhood. Thanks for that grace-filled reflection!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

And last night, as we tried to soothe her, it was definitely YOU she wanted. :-)

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Such a beautiful post. You capture the gift, the miracle, the grace of God that is "motherhood."

Lovely.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Angie said...

This is beautifully written. Congratulations on your perfect post award.

6:37 AM  
Blogger aka_monty said...

Congratulations on a Perfect Post award...it is well deserved.
:)

9:21 AM  
Blogger Raehan said...

This post is perfect, ; ) but I just have just one thing to add. I don't think being a mother will EVER become undesirable to you. Challenging, yes, but It will only get better for someone with a spirit like yours.

9:36 AM  
Blogger MommaK said...

My sister has always been close with my kids and someday I hope to be as close with hers. I was a young mom at 21 and at times it does feel like I have been nothing else. It is wonderful to rememebr that motherhood is the most important job out there to be had. We're all lucky we got the job :)

Congrats on your award today.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I LOVE this post. Your Perfect Post Award is well deserved.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Miz S said...

A beautiful post! I have to go thank Raehan for pointing me in your direction.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

Congrats to you, Mom. I know what you mean... I was the doting aunt for 13 years before becoming a Mom at 38. I loved being an aunt (& still do) and I love being the mom even more. Motherhood is a gift with huge responsibility, and such wonderful rewards. Blessings to you and yours!

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Claire said...

Wow, I came by and read this post on Raehan's recommedation and I can see why now, a beautiful and moving post. Enjoy parenthood!

1:58 PM  
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