Today was a good day

this is a mother’s day i won’t soon forget.

growing up in a family where i was an only child had it’s benefits.   a bunch of  them,  as a matter of fact.   but one of the things i missed out on was a sense of extended family.    my mom and dad’s brothers and sisters all lived on the other side of the country.   that meant no cousins to interact with.

i only knew one of my grandparents.   and that was from a distance.   i had no brothers or sisters.   it was really just me and my parents.   mother’s day was always just the three of us.

(though wanda’s life growing up was very different from mine,  we shared a commonness in our limited extended family).

after i grew older and got married and moved away,  mother’s day became more about wanda and helping our boys celebrate the special day with their mom.   but i always remembered my mother.   a phone call.   a gift in the mail.   maybe even a quick trip down to see her.

for me,  mother’s day was always still about her.   sorry wanda.

she passed away when our boys were really young.   they didn’t get much of grandma.   they missed out on a lot.   i guess that’s why church has always meant “family” to us.    without the benefit of aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents,  we got to see what deep friendships were meant to be.   friends became family for us.

it’s a balancing act now for me and wanda.   our two boys have their families…and both of them married into much larger extended families that they are learning to be part of.   it’s fun…and sometimes amusing…to watch them figure out stuff they never learned while growing up in our tidy little family unit.

for the elder farra’s,  though,  it’s still all about loving and giving and including others into our lives…new and old…and letting them grow to become family.

it was cool today to bring alan and jen and young beau up in front of our church family and pray for them…and to watch the eyes of so many people connect with them.   i think that moment is one of the reasons why people are drawn to a smaller church.   that moment never gets old.   and jen will have another reason to never forget her first mother’s day.

speaking of north point,  where else could someone get away with teaching from the passage,  “lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil”… on mother’s day?

it’s pretty encouraging to realize there are still people who believe in the greatness of god and the value of the church…in spite of what popular culture says.   i realize church people have presented our world with such a distorted view of god’s love in the past few decades.   i wish it were different.   it makes me all that much more grateful to be part of this  group of people at north point…people who don’t run from their weaknesses and willingly admit their need for grace.   and friendship.

very humbling.

my day was finished off with a phone call that marcia strong had passed away this evening.   marcia has been barely holding on to life for the past few months.   watching harrison sit by her bedside day after day has been sad…but affirming.

(for non-north pointers,  marcia and harrison were one of the few “true” elder couples we have had at north point over the years!)

after spending a lifetime together,  i watched him say goodbye tonight.   his love for her was evident.   she was his partner for going on sixty years.   tonight will be difficult.   so will tomorrow.    but his confidence that she has received her final reward will sustain him.   faith is like that.   and so is love.

it was fitting that she passed on mother’s day.   i suspect the day will never be quite the same for him.

i’m not sure it will be for me,  either.


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