Friday, November 16, 2012

Turning water into wine...

When I was a child my mother and one of her best friends, Pat,  filled a drinking glass with water, set it on their kitchen window sills and declared to all of their children and husbands that Jesus was going to turn that ordinary glass of water into wine.

He had done it in the Bible.  He would do it again...for them.

Pat and my mother, Patty, believed with all of their hearts that Jesus would perform this miracle.  Pat had three children as did my mother.  Pat's children and husband laughed and snickered behind her back.  I'm not sure how or what my brothers or father felt, I on the other hand was confused.

I would come home from school each day and glance at the glass of water.  It was still water. An ordinary glass of water sitting on the kitchen window sill.

 I would go to Pat's house to play with her daughters and yes, the water in the glass on her kitchen window sill was still water.  Pat's daughters joked about putting red food coloring in the water just to see how their mother reacted.  Her husband laughed that he was going to dump out the water and fill it with real wine.  I don't remember that they actually followed through.

One day, I came home and the glass with it's water was gone and it was never spoken of again.

This is a perfect picture of my mother and her faith.  All of her life she prayed and believed with every ounce of her being that God would perform one of her miracles.

He never did.

We never got that private jet she said we should have so my husband could travel to Africa with ease for his ministry work.  She never got that seed money of 3.3 million dollars which she had sown by generously donating her money to that televangelist.  Jesus never healed that spot on her face and she had to have plastic surgery to remove it and repair the damage...twice.  My mother would command the wind to stop in Jesus name or declare the sun must shine.  She never begged God for her desires.

She demanded them.

My mother was a broken, hurting, gorgeous woman who lived in denial of real life, because reality was too painful.  She couldn't be present when her grandson was diagnosed with cancer or when he endured a year of treatment and a year of trying to fix the fall out from radiation.

It was too emotionally painful for her, she said.

She couldn't visit her own mother when she lie dying in a stark, sterile hospital room all alone.

It was too emotionally painful for her, she said.

Reality did not match up with my mother's world view.

This became more extreme as she aged.

Yes, this thinking and belief system messed me up.
Grieving her has been complicated.

What my mother never learned, as I have, is that Jesus stands with us in the pain.  He is Present when we journey through childhood cancer or the tragedy of a son's suicide or the death of a parent or the murder of our loved one.

And that Presence is often seen and felt and known through us, His people.

We are Jesus, as we grieve with our friends, as we carry their burdens, as we hurt with others.

My mother could never accept that we lived in a broken hurting world.  She often said it "should" be this way or it "should" be that way.

But it never was.

My mother missed out on His Presence.

His Presence in the pain and heartache of Life.

The Bible sums it up this way:

Jesus Wept.



Jeremy said...

Thanks April for sharing your heart in these two posts....Kathy

Jeremy said...

April, to clarify: I made the comment above and realized afterward that i was signed in Jeremy s account....kathy mcneff ;)

Becky Farwell said...

I am so proud of you and so thankful for your friendship and that you are currently part of my Presence.

Gaylene said...

I am just giving you the biggest hug right now! Thank you for being willing to share these very personal thoughts and experiences - they blessed me. - Gaylene