This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.—John 15:12 (ESV)
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?—JOB 12:12 [NIV]
I pasted a bright smile on my face as I entered my mother’s room at the rehab facility. I couldn’t let Mom know how troubled I was about my children. Years before, I’d vowed to share only good news with my parents. Having raised my brothers and me, they deserved a respite from worries about kids.
It was a warm, sunny day so I wheeled Mom outside into the garden. We exchanged small talk for a while before Mom fixed me with those crystal blue eyes of hers. “What’s wrong, honey?” The compassion in her voice undid me and I burst into tears.
“Oh, Mom, the kids are a mess and so am I! I’m a terrible mother. I can’t seem to get anything done and the kids don’t respect me or obey me.”
“Tell me,” she encouraged.
So for the next 30 minutes, I shared my tales of woe—broken curfews, bad grades, unsavory boyfriends, dirty rooms, disrespect. Then for the next five minutes, Mom gave me advice, all of it spot-on, ending with her favorite, “This, too, shall pass.”
It was amazing how much better I felt, having poured my heart out to her, but then guilt overwhelmed me. “I’m so sorry for burdening you with my problems.”
“Are you kidding, honey?” she said. “This is the first time I’ve felt needed in months. Thank you for giving me a chance to help.”
Lord, help me remember that no matter what our age, we all still need to feel needed.
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