Monday, September 15, 2008

Memorizing God

(Thoughts I'm revisiting, thinking of my nine-year-old who ran his fingers through my hair last Sunday morning during worship...)

He gently traced the spidery veins on the back of my hand, blue and smooth beneath the transparent, pale skin. To my left, another little boy smoothed my braid, over and over, sometimes burying his nose in the honey brown strands, and sometimes brushing the soft ends on his cheeks, as a smile crossed his face.

There in that pew on a Sunday morning, my little boys were lovingly memorizing pieces of their mama. I know this, because I did the same when I was young.

I remember brushing against my mama’s leg while she sat on the couch visiting with a friend, as I played with my dolls on the floor at their feet. My child-like senses enjoyed the feel of the smoothness, and I thought, I wonder what Mama’s friend’s leg feels like? So I maneuvered myself nonchalantly across the carpet, and “accidentally” brushed against her, only to find it prickly, and unpleasant. Back I went to Mama’s leg; yes, the pleasant softness was still there. My mama is the softest!

She rubbed a cream into her face at night, and wore “Emeraude” perfume, or “Jontue”. Those scents can still bring back memories for me, memories that linger in the sweetest recesses of my heart, for they make me a child again. My mama smells the best!

I inherited her fair, fair skin, and while I did not value the unique beauty of it in myself, I marveled at the contrast between her dark hair and pale, soft skin. Much the way I thought Snow White would have looked, so was my mama to me. My mama is as beautiful as a princess!

Even my husband speaks in soft, reverent tones when he tells of his mother’s hand cream, Rose-Milk, and how she used it every night. (He believes she always used too much on purpose, just so she could rub his little hands in hers to get rid of the excess!) I’ve searched in vain for this cream, for I would so like to trigger his senses again of the woman who mothered him until he was sixteen, and then passed away after a four-year battle with cancer.

Sometimes, I can hardly believe that I am now the mama, and my children think of me in the same ways that I thought of mine! It is truly wonderful and overwhelming at the same time. If they memorize those things, surely their impartial judgement will file my faults away with the rest!

I know that most days, my scented hair does little to cover the stench of my words. And many moments, lotion adorns hands that are not always gentle. Even more so, my fair skin is merely a shell on a dark spirit.

When I cried out to God and begged Him to keep my children from memorizing those parts of me that are not worthy, I was reminded that not one hair, not one cell, is really worthy of Him.

But then I found this...

For we are unto God an aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing
. 2 Corinthians 2:15

Here at home, engaging in daily character building (for everyone!), and in the world, by example, I am to be an aroma of Christ to God, and to everyone around me.

And so, to prepare, I memorize God as I once memorized my mama, and as my children memorize me.

She gently traces the lines of the Word, following the path across the wrinkled, soft page. She inhales the fragrance of His truths, letting them fall on a yielding heart, memorizing the messages so she can recall them when they are most needed.

A smile crosses her lips when she is comforted by the reminder that…

He has memorized her, too.


originally posted February, 2007...

14 fellow travelers shared:

Cindee said...

Have you found the lotion yet? I loved it too!

Here it is :-)

Quinne said...

Oh Elise... this is beautiful. Love, Q

Tami Boesiger said...

What a beautiful piece of writing, Elise. Thank you.

Cathy said...

Beautiful.

Gwendolyn said...

You have such a way with words! I loved this. What a wonderful thoughts to start the day with! :o)

Madeleine said...

Oh my.

You have reminded me of my own mother. And how I hope one day, I am worthy of being remembered in such a sweet way....

...lovely post....

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

One of my favorites of yours, Elise...

I send much love,
Ann

Renae said...

Beautiful! What a sweet reminder of what love is.

Clarissa said...

It couldn't possibly be this, could it?http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=79036&aid=336064&aparam=rose%20milk%20hand%20cream&scinit1=rose%20milk%20hand%20cream
If not, I hope you find some, somewhere. It is such a sweet thought for your beloved.

Nancy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. That Scripture is a particular favorite of mine...one I come back to time and again when my aroma is, perhaps, more of a stench. I pray to the Lord that He may see fit to allow me to be the soft mother instead of the prickly one.

You have blessed me today.

Catherine said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

Orangehouse said...

You are a poet. I love to read the world as you see it. Keep glorifying God with beautiful, poignant words.

Christine (Craftling) said...

What sweet, gentle power there is in your words. The Holy Spirit resides here, and I have come to know that when I visit your blog, I will often have an encounter with Him.

Thank you for sharing yourself.. your children.. your mum.. and Him.. with us.

Chris xx

Natalie said...

I lost my Mama to cancer a couple of years ago. I miss her so very very much, especially her beautiful "veiny" hands, which always had the ability to bring comfort and reassurance to me when I needed it.
I pray that God allows me to do the same for my own children for many many years.
Thank you for your lovely words.

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