Saturday, February 9, 2008

An Unexpected Valentine Gift

I just received in the mail an unexpected Valentine from my mom. The instruction on her card reads, "To put toward your car repair." While the gift shuffles like paper and promises to pay out cash, something greater lies beyond the evident. In the corner of that promissory note, Mom had written: ImageBearer Mission. 

Those words summoned my tender heart. Yes, I'm called to be the face (and hands, and feet) of God. To reflect toward others his heart for them. Called. It's my mission, my name, my identity. 

While Mom may not always "get" the choices I've made in the past several months to sell my stuff (after selling my house a couple of years ago), leave my decent and steady income, insurance, family, friends, nephew, a name attached to a position to move to a land faraway (Ohio to Florida!) — she sees that I'm called. And in the calling, God has given me a new name. Somehow, some way, she sees. 

In her uncertain, but loving way, Mom sees me a little more today for who I am. . . . and she wanted me to know. I love her for that. Receiving such an acknowledgement, especially from Mom, makes this calling, this name, this identity for me more real. It validates. It embraces. 

It's like hearing a friend call you by name in the middle of a crowded airport after you've just landed from a very long trip — someone you haven't seen in a long time. Yet she still recognizes you. No, she knows you. And she states that she knows you in the very way she says your name. You hear her voice amidst the chaos. It reminds you that you're known — and loved — and everything's going to be all right.

Now THAT Valentine gift won't just sit somewhere on a shelf or simply pay for a shiny new crankshaft pulley.

Thank you, Mom, for loving me enough to share your resources and your heart. Happy Valentine's Day.

But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1 NIV


Paula said...

What a beautiful story!

ImageBearer said...

Thanks, Paula.
I read the blog to my mom on Valentine's Day, and it turned out to be a sort of "re-gifting" for BOTH of us! Isn't God good?