Sunday, May 8, 2011

'Because God Sees'

This story was forwarded to me via email from my mother-in-law and it brought me to tears.  I just had to share it and I thought it was perfect timing with Mother's Day.  This is dedicated to all the mom's out there who often feel invisible and unappreciated.  Motherhood is a thankless, unending, monotonous job.  Just remember-- when you feel like nobody is noticing all you do, God sees it.
Happy Mother's Day!

***The Invisible Mother ***

  It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the
way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask
to be taken to the store. 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 at all. I'm invisible.

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 a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite
guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order,
'Right around 5:30, please.' Some days I'm a crystal ball: 'Where's my other
sock? Where's my phone? What's for dinner?'

    I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the
eyes that studied history, music and literature--but now, they had
disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going,
she's going, she's gone!

 One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she
was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there,
looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to
compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she
turned to me with a beautifully 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 her inscription: 'With admiration
for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would
discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I
could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals--we
have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for
a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and
expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their
faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

  A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird
on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you
spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by
the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God
sees.' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was
almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you. I see the sacrifices
you make every day, even when no one around you does." No act of kindness
you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout
meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over.

You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it
will become.

  I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As
one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to
work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book
went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime
because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I
really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing
home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and
bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and
presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a monument
to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is
anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, "You're gonna love it

 As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're
doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel,
not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the
world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers. The Will of God will never
take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.
Share this with all the invisible moms that you know.
I just did.
Annette Heiner


runningfan said...

That is a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing. Do I know you from Oregon? Women's Conference? Online? We spent 6.5 happy years in Beaverton before moving to Colorado in 2008.

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