*This post is one that I didn’t necessarily intend for today, but I think it fits well to honor one of the excellent Moms I’ve been given.
Last week, I pulled my computer out, planning to email Lisa with a question: “Why should I feel worthy?”
I promise I wasn’t feeling obstinate.
It was a real question. I really didn’t have an answer in that moment.
Lisa is the one who said, “I think there’s something going on with Katie.”
The one who asked whether I feel worthy.
My answer? “Probably not.”
But let’s be honest – that answer was my way of trying not to admit the conflict I am in with what I know. I know the right answer, but I don’t believe the answer.
I think about worthiness, and I suspect it’s better to focus on the fact that we are unworthy of the blessings God bestows.
I’m unworthy of salvation.
I’m unworthy of the cross.
I’m unworthy of grace.
I’m unworthy of God’s attention and sanctification.
I’m altogether unworthy of Him.
But the weird thing about it is that God died specifically for the unworthy. He suffered betrayal, excruciating physical, emotional, and psychological pain, and separation from His Father… so that He might redeem the unworthy.
Which brings me to the answer to that first question: I should feel worthy because Jesus made me worthy. I should hope for God’s blessings because He’s a good God who gives good gifts. I should know Him well enough to know that while I’m not worthy (while I was yet a sinner), He paid an exorbitant price for me. I should also know that I’m an image-bearer, and worthy because God made me like Him… not a perfect image, but a better one than all of His other creations.
I shouldn’t feel worthy… but I get to because of God.
I get to…
I know that post seems to be very theological, and I suppose it is, but it’s also about a mom. I was invisibly boiling over and Lisa saw what wasn’t there to be seen, which is something moms do.
I’ve been blessed with a few other instances to see Lisa in action, so I thought I’d share some with you today.
- Britt (Lisa’s youngest) was folding laundry in the living room, and said something like, “Can you give me another lesson in ironing?” Lisa responded a bit more enthusiastically than one would expect, saying, “I would love to!” Britt teased her a little, because I think life was a scoash too Leave it to Beaver in that moment, but sometimes don’t we all wish reality was a bit more Pleasantville? I can’t think of anything that evokes less enthusiasm in me than an ironing lesson, but Lisa seems to get how badly we all need our moms for stuff like that.
- A few years ago, I jacked up my knee playing ultimate frisbee, and of course I ignored the problem and hiked and ran on it, refusing to give it any rest at all. In fact, I was out hiking with the Johnsons (and possibly the Wattons?) and there was this big rock I needed to climb up on, and my knee wasn’t cooperating. Lisa was already on top of the rock and lowered her walking stick down to help me. Obviously, I was stubborn and not taking help, saying something about how heavy I am and how I was going to pull her down, so she snapped at me, “Katie! Just grab the stick!” That moment still cracks me up and probably always will because moms tend to help us more than we want, but exactly as much as we need.
- A little over a week ago, I was sleeping over at the Johnsons’ house, and even though Dave had called to let me know that he and Lisa were available for dinner, I didn’t expect the amazing way they both made me feel SO special. When I arrived, Lisa was putting the finishing touches on a beautiful meal. She even put spinach leaves on top of the chicken, just so, like a garnish and it all looked SO pretty. Then, we went outside and the three of us had dinner and wine… and Strawberry Rhubarb pie for dessert. Cooking like that is most definitely the art of an excellent mom.
- Cancer is a mysterious horror that I’ve never known anyone to live through with greater strength and beauty than Lisa Johnson has. Not too long after she underwent surgery, my mom had a cancer scare, and I put out a prayer request that included the Johnsons. Dave called me the next morning and talked to me a bit, reading me Psalm 34:18, which was a verse he said meant a lot to Lisa as she underwent treatment. It says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” That verse has been a comfort to me ever since.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Johnsons, remembering the moments we’ve shared, and it occurs to me that there’ve been a lot of them. They’ve been there for me for a long time, eh? They’ve been there through a lot more than I’m mindful of on a daily basis, and I’m so lucky to have them both. I’m so blessed that there’s someone seeing what’s invisible in me.