This summer the babies and I spent a morning at the Westside offices helping our dear friend Mona with some tasks to get ready for our all-church retreat. I was in the other room working when I heard Von initiating conversation:
Ms. Mona, where is Simon?
Simon is at home with his mama.
But you are Simon’s mama!
No, I am his grandma. Do you have a grandma?
No. My grandmama and grandpapa are in Heaven with Jesus and Kuhdoot [Kara].
Well, I will be your grandma. You can call me Grandma Mona.
Typing it out makes it seem like maybe it wasn’t a big deal. But friends, when I heard Mona’s love toward my child, I had to choke down sobs. She didn’t hesitate to communicate to his little heart that she will love him, that she will just show up to help fill that gap in his and his sissy’s lives.
Mona loves well, and not just my family. She is always thinking of others and wondering how to serve. She is really, really good at just showing up.
My baby girl’s 2nd birthday was a few of weeks ago, but we had a sick household and had to cancel her celebration. By the time we were all recovered, I realized that Ann hadn’t had so much as a cupcake or a resounding rendition of Happy Birthday sung to her. It broke my heart, and I started wondering how we could make it up to her and still celebrate. And then I got the text:
DID YOU CHECK YOUR CALENDAR?
Mona had offered to do something special to celebrate Ann, and she was following up to make sure I knew she was serious.
As the babies and I drove to meet her, we had to take the exit for my parents’ home where we spent the last 6 years of their lives. It is always hard to take that exit. And on this day, I was keenly reminded of their absence in not just my life, but my children’s. I am always—always—sad when I see grandparents with their grandbabies. I am joyful, too, but there is always a sadness.
And yet, here we were with a woman who has pursued the hearts of my children so very well. She plays with them, talks to them, has really gotten to know their little personalities. She cherishes them and celebrates them. She just shows up for them.
My family isn’t currently going through a challenging hard; yet, like most people, we have ongoing hards that get forgotten and lost in the shuffle of life. Hards that will never heal until Jesus calls us Home. But the pain of those hards is softened with the quiet love of friends like Mona. That love enters gently, filling some of the rough cracks and smoothing the jagged edges. It whispers comfort and truth, and it has faith on sad days.
This kind of grace reminds me to look for ways to extend it to others, to not just look for the obvious ways to serve, to be thoughtful in how I engage hearts. For this kind of grace impacts the tiniest of hearts, even as tiny as Ann’s, as I learned on the way home that day:
I wuv Mona. I weally wuv Mona. Mona wuvs me! Mona is sooooo kind to me. Mona is kind. Mona is so kind to me. Mona wuvs me.
May the Lord see fit to use me to make that kind of impact someday.
Who is someone in your life who has ongoing hard? Is there someone you know who has more of an invisible struggle? What are the ways you can move toward this person in quiet love to make a difference of grace?