A Portrait of My Mother

by willeya

my mother and i share an appreciation for ruth bell graham and her poetry.  a couple of years ago i stumbled across this poem.  it made me cry, as it describes well the image i have of my mother.  i stuck it in my proverbial pocket, knowing i would “give” it to her one day.  today seems the day.

sometimes, my mom is hard on herself, chiding herself for not being further along, for damaging us kids in some way, for being lazy, discontent, or generally naughty.  but that is not how i see her – not at all.  i see a childlike faith in awe of His creation and everyday miracles.  i see a servant who does crazy, sacrificial things for her kids, letting them know they matter a lot (you too dad :).  i see a person who cries easily because her heart is sensitive (and she loves her kids).  i see a person who sends cards and letters and packages because she thinks of you.  i see a person who loves children (especially the grand ones) and plays with them as if she is one. i see a long and understanding listener.  i see a committed, thoughtful daughter.   i see a person who really hurts when others are in pain.  i see a person who is teachable, open to conviction and repentance.  i see someone who weighs her words before she speaks (most of the time ;).  i see a learner and pursuer of Jesus.  i see a person who is becoming more of all these things with each passing year.  i see my mother – unassuming – growing in God.

thank you, mom, for being a picture of humility, grace and change.  you are beautiful to me.

As the portrait is unconscious
of the master artist’s touch,
unaware of growing beauty,
unaware of changing much,
so you have not guessed His working
in your life throughout each year,
have not seen the growing beauty
have not sensed it Mother dear.
We have seen and marveled greatly
at the Master Artist’s skill,
marveled at the lovely picture
daily growing lovelier still;
watched His brush strokes
change each feature
to a likeness of His face,
till in you we see the Master,
feel His presence, glimpse His grace;
pray the fragrance of His presence
may through you seem doubly sweet,
till your years on earth are ended
and the portrait is complete.

– Ruth Bell Graham