Sunday, May 13, 2012

Memories - Part One


Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us. 
~ Oscar Wilde ~

Mother's Day is just around the corner as well as the 15th anniversary of my Mama's falling asleep in Jesus.
So I just had to write these things out, it's the best way for me to get through it.

 This time of year is usually pretty hard on me, I have many things going on plus the added fact of the emotions flooding in on me. This year I was blessed with a sermon by our pastor about death, it made me realize that I look at it from a stand point of a non-Christian, which would be pretty morbid and scary. But with this sermon I was able to find joy in this sleep that I will one day succumb to.
 I know where my Mother is, but around this time of year it's hard for me to not want her back here on earth with me so that I could give her a rose on Mother's Day, or give her a tour of my herbs garden, hear her no non-sense advice, and just to see who she would be as a person. But, for some reason the LORD did not allow that, so all I have is the memory of her and I would like to share some of those joyous memories with all of you on this Mother's Day weekend.

The First Shall Be Last & The Last Shall Be First

"But many that are first shall be last; and the last first." ~ Mark 10:31 ~

The sun was shining in through the window over the kitchen sink as a lady stood there gently washing the dishes, a little girl chattered away as she gathered the dirty dishes and placed them in the sink as well as drying the ones that were coming out. Contentment seemed to be on both faces, one content to wash dishes and listen to the girl chatter away as the other was content to do her Mother's bidding and unknowingly entertain her Mother. No thought had ever entered the child's mind of not doing as she was told, no, it was never a chore to help her Mother, never a burden. It had never entered her mind because her Mother never seemed to think it so, so why should she?
 As they both worked away at her own duty, the little girls chatter slowed and she furrowed her brow, as if she was turning something over in her little mind. As the wheels turned she slowly turned to the one whom now she would put the question that she was pondering, to the wise one who stood before her, the one who seemed to always have all the answers. "Mama" she slowly drawled out in her south eastern accent "where is heaven?" , the Mother smiled and wistfully looked out the window towards the crepe myrtles that bloomed pink right outside the window, she slowly answered "Heaven is in the sky where God is.". The girl was silent for a moment, but only for a moment and then another question crossed her mind and she quickly said (as if she would lose her thought), "but, I can't see it". Once again the Mother smiled and replied "It's somewhere out there and God is still preparing it for those who are His own, one day you and I both will go there". The girl quickly asked "what does it look like?", the Mother this time smiled and seemed to look past the crepe myrtles, past anything that was outside that window as she replied "it's streets are paved with gold so pure that you can see through it, there are many kinds of precious jewels and crowns, walls so high and so wide there never seems to be an end and best of all you're in the presence of Jesus." The little girls eyes sparkled and her face had that look of awe and amazement that only a child can capture.
 This took awhile to sink into her little head, but soon her head was filled with more questions for the all-knowing Mother, "will I wear a crown Mommy?" to which her Mother replied "if you know Jesus you will not want to wear the crown, you will give it to Him."
Well this just didn't make sense to the five year old mind, why would you give something that precious away, so in reply to this thought she said aloud "not mine, I would wear mine" but her Mother looked at her knowingly and replied "yes, many people would want to keep the crowns, but once you realize what Jesus has done for you, you will most gladly lay them at His feet". "But why? What has He done?" This again made the Mother smile, perhaps this was a moment she had been waiting for, to be able to give the gospel to her own child what a joy it was to her. She answered in a reverent voice "He took all the sins of the world on His shoulders, He died on the cross for you and me and then rose again on the third day. He did all this so that we could live forever with Him one day in Heaven."
 The child looked in amazement, and promptly replied "I'm going there first, to heaven I mean", "Oh really" the Mother replied "Do you know what the Bible says?". "No" said the girl. "Well" she began "Jesus says the first shall be last and the last shall be first". This was a new concept to the little girl, this was one she had to think about for a minute. As she thought she wondered if this not only applied to heaven but also to her life on earth and so she asked "so if I am in line for the water at church and I want to be first then I have to be last?" there was laughter in the Mothers eye as she responded "well, it means that if you want to be first then you should probably be last, but if you are last you will not always be first". This sufficed for now, but the little girl continued to think and as the last dish was being washed and she prepared to dry it she said
 "Mommy, since I want to go to heaven first, does that mean you will go before I do?" a long pause ensued and my Mother answered "Yes, Elisha I will go before you".

To this day this memory stays with me and although she had no inkling of an idea that she would have inflammatory breast cancer just three years from this moment I believe she knew then that she would go before all of us.
 I know most parents believe that they precede their children in death, but to me whenever I remember this conversation between me and my Mother I remember she had a faraway look in her eye and she knew it wouldn't be long before she fell asleep and met her Jesus face to face.
 Also, though I was not a Christian at the time and did not come to the LORD until I was nineteen I believe this was a seed she planted, for this is the first time I remember thinking of Jesus in any other way than just a person in a story.

  Her last words were REJOICE. Let us always remember to do so in any situation whether it be life or death.