“My mom says you make the other moms look bad.”
For about five years I had been making lunch for students from the Senior High by our house once a week when a young girl said this to me. What started as lunch for around 6 students had become lunch for around 50 – sometimes more. I had no intention of being compared to other moms. I was just being obedient to something God had placed on my heart while working with youth at our church – something small that grew over the years (especially when my 2 kids were both at the Senior High).
I remember pondering this comment while cleaning up that Friday afternoon, thinking how things that come easy for one person can be daunting for another. I also thought about how we have to fight to keep from comparing ourselves to others. Then I remember thinking about my mom. You see, it was my mom that taught me to serve in this way, to cook for large groups, to love people. She did that well.
Growing up, we would tease that she did not know how to cook for just the four of us. I am now like her. You should see the chili in my fridge from dinner a couple of nights ago – cooking for two is HARD! Good thing I like leftover chili. (If you want to try a good recipe, try this).
Not only did she cook too much for our family, my mom showed me the gift of feeding/loving people when she provided meals for a local community program that was serving men and women with AIDS. This was in the late 1980s at the height of the AIDS “crisis.” I can’t remember the name of the place, but I remember going with her to deliver the meals when I was home from college and watching her engage the people there. I remember taking the meals for her if she had a conflict and talking to the men and women who were so appreciative of what my mom did. She made it look easy.
She taught me to love people. She didn’t just tell me to love; she modeled it for me. So, when my small “Friday Lunch” became quite large, I just did what my mom had taught me – I cooked another pan or two of whatever was on the menu for that day and loved on those students. And, I know that if my mom had been around, she would have been there right in the middle of it all, helping me, loving me.
Yet, as much as she loved me and others, her love was not perfect. And, as thankful as I am for my mom, I am so much more thankful to my God who has demonstrated perfect love to me.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
In God’s perfect love, He saved me.
In His perfect love, he has given me His Spirit.
And, in His perfect love, he gave me my mom.
Today marks seventeen years since my mom passed away. Oh, how I miss her. She was a silly, crazy, loving mom.
In honor of her, I want to encourage you – find that talent or ability God created in you. If you aren’t sure what it is, ask God to reveal it to you. Ask your friends to help you. Then, ask Him to show you how to use it to shine His light through you.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)