I’m sad. Not so much that this past Mother’s Day was my first one I experienced without my sweet mother on this earth. And yeah, it was different not visiting the terraces of cards lining the aisles at the nearest discount retail store looking for the perfect Mother’s Day card. No, I had no phone call to make either and no flowers to send. But then the lowest of the low struck. Someone stole the lighted cross ornament off of my mother’s grave that I had placed near her headstone.
Bear and I were in Colorado doing a church service on Sunday, Mother’s Day, so we were a good four hundred miles away from where mom’s physical body is laid to rest. Not that it would have made any difference. Who knows when it disappeared?
That evening, I perked up when a text from my younger brother Jake bleeped on my “magic phone” as our kids tease me about operating. It started out with a sweet salutation – “Happy Mother’s Day! Hope you’re having a good day.” That part made me smile, but then the rest of the message caused me to burst into tears and my mood sunk instantly –
“I was by mom’s grave and the light [cross] is gone. I love you, your brother, Jake.”
Who would take something off of a grave?
I responded “Thanks Jake! That makes me very sad that someone would steal off of our mother’s grave!”
His response – “Yes, that is pretty low of someone.”
I simply sent him back one of those little devil characters that are available with most text messages. No need for any more words.
I sat there for a moment taking in the bad news and wondering what I should do next. And then I did something completely foreign to me and my usual behavior of blowing up and throwing some minor cuss words and snot all over the place.
I stopped and prayed.
Not for vengeance. Not my typical “sic ‘em Lord!” prayer that I have said so many times in the past. I actually prayed for the person who took the cross. They are the ones who will know exactly where it came from every time they look at it. And that’s not my problem. It’s theirs. And then I even went a step further as that first prayer still seemed a little angry.
I forgave them.
I’m not tooting my own little golden righteous horn here. It was a bitter lesson I had to swallow. But I really needed to go deeper with my conviction of forgiveness.
I prayed that whoever took the cross gently stuck it in the ground by their own child’s grave. Or maybe their own mother’s or grandmother’s grave. Perhaps it gave them some comfort. Maybe . . . just maybe . . . they needed it more in this old wicked and mean world than my mom who is watching down from Heaven. She certainly doesn’t need it!
I hope so.
Slowly, ever so slowly, I pray daily to teach me to turn the other cheek before I pull out my sword and whack someone’s ear off.
So it’s okay. I’m going to let it go.
I haven’t decided though if I’m going to replace the lighted cross with another one. At this time, the jury is still out on that decision.
But c’est la vie (that’s life), this world is not mine own.
I’m only passing through as a wayfaring stranger.