This Week's Focus

Investigate my life, O God
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Psalm 139:23-24

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 17-20: restoration

I will restore the years the locusts have eaten...

It took 40 years. From the time I was 2 and choosing the destructive path of jealousy until now, at 42. I'm struck at the number which I've only now just realized. 40 years. That is a holy number - for Noah, Moses, the Israelites, Jesus, the Apostles... but I digress!

Mom called this week. She asked me to come to her last concert. It has gotten too painful for her to play and endure hours long practices. I was struck a blow in the heart - I've only just begun to celebrate her gift! She even offered to pay for me to fly, which underscored the importance because my parents have never offered that and really can't afford it.

So I dropped everything. My parents play in several groups in the Loveland, Colorado, area which is rich with talent and culture. My parents have a music studio, my dad focuses on composing and arranging; mom focuses on teaching. This is new for her in "retirement." She put aside her own career for many years to support her husband and kids. Dad was the teacher. Mom did other jobs. But Dad told me this weekend that Mom loves teaching. She has 20 students.

Friday the kids and I made the long, beautiful drive to Colorado.

Mom and Dad also teach private lessons at an Academy and they are good friends with the music instructor. The school hosted it's spring concert Saturday morning, too. The music director chose one of my Dad's compositions to perform. When I was a little girl my Dad wrote music to the poem, The Lamb, by William Blake. It is so beautiful, one of my favorites. And I'd longed for years to hear it live but never have. I got to hear it for the first time being sung by a group of young women with beautiful voices, and the simple instrumental included my mother on violin. The piece sounded truly like a gift from heaven.

Afterward, my mother was greeted again and again by students who obviously had deep love for her and she for them. Over and over, they'd hug and then look eye to eye with sincere care. Valuing her drew them to her. Valuing each other drew them into relationship. There it was before me: the message from Day 3 God gave me - the cure for jealousy. I was so moved - not jealous, not bitter - but overwhelmed with pride and love for her and sadness that I had missed out on the joy of celebrating her for so many years. Missed out on drawing close to her. Their love for her helped me to see her with new eyes. God helped my heart get to a place to finally celebrate and value my Mom, so that I could grow close to her.

Sunday my brother's family joined us in Golden, Colorado to hear what turns out to be both parent's final concert with the Loveland Orchestra. They were accompanying the Golden Chorale performing Mozart's Requiem. My dad plays, well, everything, but in this one various trombones. The theme of the concert was, "Classic Farewells." Appropos for my parent's farewell, too.

Sitting on the front row right in front of my Mom, I could see her face, her fingers, every movement of her arms and expression on her face. I could even hear so well that I could distinguish her particular violin and almost feel it's vibration in my body. I drank in every moment of her playing like never before. I remembered being 2 like it was yesterday and I celebrated being 42 and sitting in the audience of my Mother's playing and thanked God. (See posts from Day 2 and 3)

Our relationship has been difficult for many years. Not just because of the jealousy that God revealed to me from early on, but because of my own selfish, destructive relational choices that are rooted entirely in my utter insecurity. My mother saw my vacuumous need and she could not meet it. I know it broke her heart that whatever she gave me of herself was never enough. That I so often rejected her because she wasn't what I wanted her to be. This trip, this weekend, this action on both our parts - her reaching out to ask me, my dropping everything to go - feels like God reaching down and turning us both toward each other.


He is healing me to be able to be in relationship with her, with others, and ultimately with Him.