When You Were Nothing

2011-10-29 14.31.03The other day my husband said into the  rear view mirror, “We love you guys so much!” and Chloe piped up from the back to say, “We know that, Dad. We’ve known that since we were nothing.”

Of course today is Mother’s Day in the US and I’ve been thinking about those women who loved me when I was nothing. My own mother, who loved me before she knew me. Her mother, who loved her when she was nothing, and loved me when I was nothing too. My Dad’s mom, who loved us when we were nothing, and my Great grandmothers who somehow found the  capacity to love so many of us when we were still nothing. 

Somehow in my mind this love into the future, this love of thousands of people who are still nothing is all tied up in Biblical warnings to not despise the day of small beginnings, and to look at the love that is only the size of a man’s fist and see a great flooding rain of love coming. Thinking of Abraham and the promises made to Him by our God – that we would outnumber the grains of sand, and the stars in the sky. Looking at my own children and wondering just how big of an impact can this love make? How many thousands of people are we loving now, as we spread peanut butter for the generations to come, or get another cup of water for the little person who will be the old person some day? At our dining room tables, feeding generations with the same love. Sacrificing little things for people who will outnumber us so quickly.

Last summer we stopped in to visit my Grandma Greensides – the three of us kids, and our sixteen children. And she loved them. They lined up and filed through to see her and give her a hug. They introduced themselves to her repeatedly, and kept getting back in line for more hugs, because even though she didn’t remember them, they wanted to hear one more of her funny comments, her sweet jokes. They wanted to feel the incredible softness of her relaxed skin, and make her laugh and smile again. And she didn’t know them, but she loved them. She loved them when they were nothing.

My younger children don’t know their Great Grandma Bessie, but they know her love. They feel her love in the way their Papa loves them, the way their Nana reflects the things she learned from her. They know her love, and they love her back. She loved them when they were nothing.

As we pour all this love forward, into people who are still nothing, we thank God for His great love to us. His love that enables us to love each other – that provides us with a depth of love that makes no sense, that never fails. He loved us when we were nothing.

 

 

 

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5 Responses to “When You Were Nothing”


  • So beautiful. Thank you Rachel!

  • What beautiful reflections of a mother’s love. Thanks for posting this.

  • From my friend’s F/B yesterday about her mama. I know you gals would enjoy it (and her if you knew her)! I yelled out the door this morning because of it!!! She posted:

    I want to tell you about my “groovy” mama. She drove me nuts, told me no, grounded me for making C’s and made me wash dishes…..ughhh. Then, just like they said, I started to seek her out and I needed to know the answers that only she could provide. Mama can help with dandruff, makeup, good she brands, ironing, and word definitions. I knew she could get out almost any stain, but I didn’t know how. My laundry was pitiful and I knew she could fix it, so she took it home and brought it back perfect. THEN one day I started sounding like her. When Mama walked past the back door in the morning, she opened the door, stuck her head out and yelled, “GOOD MORNING WORLD.” I started doing it. I experienced the joy in welcoming the new day (like my mama did). My mama loves to give and give. Mama gives her time, her hair spray, she baby sits, her money, her car, her time, ideas on decorating, recipes, and her time. Mama never acts like she’s upset we have a need. She tries to help and fix the situation. My kiddos go absolutely nuts when Grannie comes driving up. There is actually a contest to who can get the first hug, I have won on occasion, too. Mama brings joy, smiles and happiness. Mama believes in the power of prayer, the speaking of God’s truths. I can say, when I grow up I want to have many of my mama’s traits and habits. I am thrilled to call her my mama.

  • Thank you for putting this perspective into words. Mother’s day is one of the many days when I wish my mother could have known my children and that they could have felt her arms around them and know her too. She left this earth when they were nothing. It is a comfort that despite that reality, she loved them, and they can feel her love.

  • Speaking of blessing the generations to come, of declaring the LORD’s righteousness to those who are now nothing, I was reminded of this from Psalm 22 (vs. 30-31):

    “Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
    they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a
    people yet unborn,that he has done it.”

    (Can’t you just hear that tune from the Psalter in your head right now?)

    Praise God for the privilege of shaping that posterity through our work now! I pray that my descendents will look upon the generations of Christians who came before them and declare, “Lord, you loved us even when we were nothing!”

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