Taking time to serve her community…

David and I are hitting the road for the first time in over two months! The business up north is calling our name, and so we are headed up into the arctic tundra to take care of a few things this next week. Normally I’d be excited by this trip — and I am looking forward to seeing the results of a few projects we put into motion — but I’m also worried about leaving my mom home here in Florida with us gone for a week.

Mom’s not worried, though!

We went to visit her last night and she was busy talking about her day (volunteering to stuff the bulletins at the church), her dinner out with one of our neighbors the night before, all the mail that has piled up and must be handled. Then she told us a story that both convicted me and mildly terrified me.

Apparently, Mom has an elderly neighbor up in Boston in her 90’s and currently living with her two twin grandsons. Before she left the cold north for sunny Florida, she visited with this woman, Joan, and one of her grandsons. The converstaion moved to faith, as it usually does for my mother. Joan is something of a lapsed Catholic, and the boy had never stepped foot in a church at all. Not for a wedding, not for a funeral. Never in a church. Mom began telling him that he needed to know who Jesus was (“I’ve watched some on TV,” he said.). Before the day was over she returned with a copy of the Bible in the Message translation as well as the names and addresses of two local churches. To sweeten the deal, Mom mentioned that there were usually good girls to be found at good churches!

All this was old news, but last night Mom mentioned that she had been praying every night for the boy (conviction #1), and had promised to call and check on them, so she did. On the phone she hit a double bonanza when she found out that the second twin had moved in the house and HE was reading the Bible Mom had left, though neither had gotten to church yet. She started her whole message over again with this fresh twin.

Wow.

You have to remember that my mother has Alzheimer’s, and has a difficult time talking on the phone even to her family. She usually shies away from phone calls with anyone, let alone a relative stranger two generations removed from her! And yet her heart was telling her she needed to care about these boys. I was convicted down to my bones, because I know that I would never have done what she did. I wouldn’t have the courage. I wouldn’t find the time. I wouldn’t remember my promise, a promise I may never have made in the first place.

Yes, I was mildly terrified wondering if my mother has totally turned into “The nutty woman from across the street who preaches at us,” but I was also terrified that I am not nutty enough.

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I’m focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.