Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Stepping Stone

When I graduated from sixth grade in Brooklyn NY I had an autograph book. Once upon a time those things were very popular. It was sort of a bit like signing a yearbook although we had that too. I remember it was white. I asked my mother and father to write on the first pages.

Three years later when I graduated from Pershing Junior High School in Brooklyn, I had an official PJHS autograph book. It was blue and gold, had the school emblem on the front and closed with a zipper. I asked my mother and father to write on the first pages again.

I think my dad wrote first. He wrote:
Only one life will soon be past

Only what’s done for Christ will last

My mother wrote:
Isn't it strange that princes and kings, 
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings, 
And common people like you and me 
Are builders for eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass, 
A book of rules; 

And each must make-Ere life is flown- 
A stumbling block Or a steppingstone.

I have always been a bit of a traditionalist so after seeing what they wrote in the sixth grade, I asked them to write the same in the ninth grade book. They did.

Today my mother went home to be with the Lord. I am thinking about both my parents. My father has been gone for almost 39 years. I still miss him very much. Now my mother has joined him.

Like all human beings they were flawed. I am flawed as well. What I do really has no merit other than what I do in the name of the Lord and in His service. I can do nothing in myself. I can’t even get through today in myself; truly only what is done for Christ will last.

The poem of my mother’s I will have shared at her funeral. I don’t know if my children have heard it. My parents were flawed human beings. I am also flawed. We all are. But we have an opportunity to do something for eternity.

My children see my mother as a saint. By the time they knew her, many of her flaws and struggles had softened with time. We actually knew two different people. I am thankful I got to see her truly become that stepping stone for my children. I am so thankful I gave that opportunity to both her and my children. She is now a bridge that I hope and pray they will cross over so that they may be joined with her at the end of their journey around the throne of God. 

1 comment:

  1. Your loss is your mother's gain. I know you are glad that you were in TN at the time she needed you - that you were able to be with her sing to her - love her - let her know she was not alone. You will cherish that time. Your mother's influence (loving Jesus and loving her grandchildren) will continue on... May the Lord bring their hearts to Himself!


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