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Precious in the eyes of the Lord

When my brother-in-law emailed the photos yesterday, this file name caught my eye: “Mom on roof playing rake flute.”

Say what?

I opened the file and started laughing–and crying.  There was my middle-aged mom, Crystal, on the roof with a rake.  Instead of raking leaves out of the gutter, she hammed it up for the camera.  I’m sure her crystal-blue eyes were twinkling.

Mom on roof, playing rake flute

She died on Monday, a few weeks shy of her 93rd birthday.  She’d been peeved with herself ever since she realized she would die “so young,” but legally blind, hard of hearing, and living in a worn-out body, she didn’t have a lot to look forward to every day.

Mom was an artist in her younger days.  Coming home from school, I often found her painting or working with clay in her lean-to studio behind the house.  Depending on the project, her face might have been smudged with watercolors or oils, or her hands and arms might have worn a film of clay.  She loved her art, and art trumped housework any day.

She taught me so many important lessons.  She taught me it’s good to be a bit unconventional.  It’s good to pour yourself into your passion, whatever it is.  It’s good to laugh loudly and care deeply and spend money, when you’ve got it, on books instead of clothes. It’s good to love God and people.

She didn’t talk much about her faith.  She just lived it, and she lived it for a long time.  She spent approximately 34,000 days on this earth.

My sister says one of the last times Mom spoke, she said “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.”  Then she said it again.  And when the sun went down on her last day, she was already gone from us but present with the Lord.

“Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints.”


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Categorized: general blog