“No rest for the weary,” mom sighed.
She bent down to pick up muddy boots and move them off the kitchen floor where they lay on their rubber sides, shells without spirits. She carried them out the back door and set them outside on cement steps marked by clumps of wet dirt.
We cook, clean, we work jobs, we nurse babies and kiss scabbed knees, and in the middle of it all we sometimes forget the role most sacred.
Where do all the prayers of a mother go?
Are they left to float in cyberspace with her last breath?
Do they bury into caked ground when her time on earth is finished?
My Mom, with her never-ending job of feeding, cleaning and caring, had no idea how much greater, bigger and wider her impact would be than the menial weariness of daily tasks. She couldn’t have possibly fathomed all the lives she influenced, multiplied in years to come and generations unborn.
I still picture her never-polished-in-all-her-life fingernails filed by work, hands folded in prayer, rough knuckles yellowed. I see her gray head bent. I hear her whispers floating upward to the throne. I hear my name. I hear my brother’s names.
Where are her prayers now?
Does the Father remember words whispered in the quiet sanctuary of a mother’s heart?
In the heritage of her life, no role, no gift was greater than the imprint she left of Jesus.
When do all the prayers a mother prays end?
Does Jesus forget our prayers when we are gone?
Do they rise above the little tugging hand at the hem of mom’s skirt?
“That the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children.” (Psalm 78:6; ESV)
Asaph recalled the history of God’s people in Psalm 78. He went way back in time to remind the Israelites of what God did in the past, His wondrous miracles as well as God’s grievous discipline.
The minutes of their lives mattered long after they were gone.
In God’s timing a thousand years is as but a day. Scripture recounts the story of countless promises fulfilled after hundreds of years passed. The Israelites under Moses’ leadership took an extra 40 years to reach the Promised land. Many never set eyes on it. The promise of the Edomite’s demise was fulfilled 600 years later with the last Herod. Jesus Himself waited 30 years for His public ministry to begin. God holds time and moves it toward His purposes.
My Mom will never be known through books or media, she wasn’t prominent in her community, nor did she pass on an inheritance of fame. Yet, her life rose much higher than diapers changed and tantrums stilled. It spanned veiled generations.
It may be true, there is no rest for the weary. For every moment is sacred. The impact today on a little child’s life tomorrow has no measuring tape long enough. In eternity’s light, it streams on and on, beyond what we can see, touching who we can’t know. May our razor thin space mark well the ongoing legacy of Jesus in God’s eternal timeline.
I feel the expanse of generational branches. Mom is gone. The breath of her life is passed down in pictures and stories but most importantly, in faith.
My grandson’s miniature body leans against my legs where I sit. He raises his arms out to me and waits, a big smile curves his lips and anticipation sparkles in his eyes. I bend over, and heave him up onto my lap. He is eighteen months big, and I consider just for a moment the years I my own babies climbed up and down, as I did with my mom.
Then, as he snuggles into me, I put my cheek against his soft blonde head, and in my heart a prayer goes up and up, higher and higher, and rests at the Father’s throne. I want it to be there long past the days of my calendar.
“That the children yet unborn might arise and tell their children about Jesus.”