My own mother loved to care for her children and family, but she wouldn’t refrain from an occasional remark if she felt we were veering off course. For instance, she felt I could sometimes be a little hard on her and others and once said,
“Please just see me as God sees me.”
At the time she said this I was caring for her and as many caregivers will admit, sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you’re just not 100%. Yet, the simplicity and wisdom of this request startled me. Seeing and acknowledging good is always better and healthier than a critical attitude.
Since we were both Christian Scientists, I knew she was asking me to see her spiritually, in God’s image and likeness, whole and good (Gen.1:27 & 31), as it says at the very beginning of the Scriptures. And of course she was right; there are real benefits to holding to man’s true goodness.
So when I was awakened one night by her calling out in anguish, I came to her room determined to see her as God does. I picked up a hymnal and began reading her favorite hymns out loud. I could tell the words and spiritual ideas were comforting to her and kept reading. I consciously prayed to see her not separated for a moment from God’s harmonious, healing presence. Soon her thought calmed, she stopped moaning and fell asleep. She awoke the next morning refreshed and at peace.
Striving to see her this way reminds me of how she cared for people her whole life. I knew her mothering career began in the Depression caring for her younger siblings and changing diapers when she was only eight years old. When I was growing up, she always kept us safe and healthy and could be a tiger when it came to protecting any children, not just her own.
For instance, when I was twelve, I remember we received a call from one of my younger cousins who had run away to call us for help and to share that he and his four siblings had been put in a foster home where they were being routinely abused. My mother immediately hired a lawyer, took the foster home to court and moved all five into our home until they could be settled back with their mother nearly a year later. Our cousins never forgot how quickly she moved to save them from that situation.
“God is Love” it says in the Bible’s book of John. Whether our own mother is with us or not, seeing each other as God sees us helps us all. It helps us to cleanse our thought of anger, resentment or impatience. It brings in the spiritual light that we are never apart from Divine Love which embraces and cherishes each of us, seeing us whole and complete, loved and lovable just as we are.