She approached me from across the parking lot. She has been here several times before, but lately I have noticed a little something different about her. She has been in a different spirit it has seemed. It was not long ago I sat down and ate breakfast with her one Saturday morning. She had her granddaughter with her. Seems like she has her more often than she would like to...not that she doesn’t love her granddaughter. In fact, it would probably be best if I used her words instead of trying to speak for her. “It just breaks my heart that all these children don’t have moms and dads that want to be with them. I just don't understand it.” I know the feeling.
Today her heart isn’t near so heavy it seems. She is smiling, excited to be here, on a different journey. I greet her with a smile, she offers a hug to welcome back.
“How are you?” I ask.
She replies, “I am doing good!”
“Tell me about your grandbaby.”
“She is doing so good! All A’s this last nine weeks! And would you know, her mom is stepping up and taking more responsibility, actually wanting to be around her and do things with her. That makes her so happy. She doesn’t love anyone like she does her mother. I’ve been praying for her mom to step up for a long time.”
“Amen! And thank you for your persistence.” It may seem a small transformation, but I see Jesus working in that. Yes, where there is change, growth, maturity...there is Jesus. It may seem like a small step to some, but a mother coming out of her selfishness to desire relationship with her child is a monumental victory for a kid. For me, it’s cause to celebrate.
I have been there too many times to see the other side. I have seen the fourteen year-old boy crying in the locker room after the game because his mother didn’t show up like she said she would. I have seen the disheartened child sitting on the bleacher looking for the dad who would come in after the game was over. I have seen the little girl crying at school because everyone has had a parent there for the class presentations and the five year old whose mom “no-showed” after telling him she would bring cupcakes to the class on his birthday.
Yes, a mother desiring a relationship with their child seems natural to most of us. It seems obvious. It should go without stating. But, all too often in our culture, it doesn’t. So today is cause for celebration for one little girl. And her grandmother knows it. I hope the future brings much more to celebrate.
For today, I’ll enjoy the victory...no matter how small. Anytime someone becomes a better version of him or herself I am excited. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. I pray grandma has a little less time with that little girl...only because mom wants more and more.
And I’ll count it as a teaching moment for me too. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we say to influence another. There are places that only God can work. That only He can touch. And the best thing we can do is just ask Him to. Again and again and again. Jesus talked about being persistent with our prayers. And in those moments when that is all we can do, I pray for more ability to trust that He will answer those prayers...when the time is right.
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1