A Bible with binding swollen from use and pages crinkled with ink and tears is open lying face up. There are notes written in scrolling, swaying letters in the margins marking lessons learned. Hear the prayers offered in low murmur from her knees – passion and pleading fills its tone. It is so full and rich I swell at its sound.
These are the sensations that mark nearly every morning of the childhood in my memory. My mama, bent over her Bible, bent into prayers, bent towards her Savior, broken but bound in Him. Morning worship, prayer, and meditation coming from a desperation for more, more, ever more of the Savior: more of His strength, more of His wisdom, more of His presence, more of Him.
The world has tried to bend her to its way and break her to its will but she is too brave, too strong, too fortified by her bending to Him to be folded any other way.
From her Bible she sought Him, she knew Him, she soaked in Him. From her knees she worshiped Him, found Him, and petitioned Him. From both she fought for me, for all three of us. From that place, every morning, battles were won on our behalf because we had a mama who was bent.
We were never forgotten because we had a mama who was bent. We were never neglected because we had a mama who was broken. On her knees, in the scratched, bent, marked up, and salty stained pages of her Bible we were raised up. Yes, she raised us on her knees.
I’ve seen tears fill her eyes when she feels the familiar guilt of motherhood – the things she did or didn’t do – that still haunts her. The “what-ifs” and “if-onlys” that I am now all too familiar with myself.
Oh but, Mama, I know you aren’t perfect. I also know that is exactly why you made your way, found your way, fought your way to those bent and broken moments in the recliner, on the rug, at the kitchen table, by your bed.
Often I stopped to listen like a pirate quietly commandeering your time but stealing treasure of a different sort. I saw love there. There was love in your bending. There was love in your brokenness.
How I long to be a mama like you, one who is bent. How I want, no I pray to be a mother like you that carries the mark of her submission to the in humbled shoulders and a reliant spirit. How I want to be a mama who is consistently found pleading to Him and yearning for Him.
I long to be a mama who knows she isn’t perfect, who doesn’t have the answers, who fights every day for her children. I long to be a mama who remembers the feeling of Grace and gives it freely, who remembers the sacrifice of Love and loves freely, who knows the One she worships and so worships freely.
I long to be a mama who prays, who fights battles unseen, who strengthens herself on crinkled pages and swollen bindings. I long to be a mama who is bent surrendering because I need to… I have to… I want to. I long to be a mama who is bent constantly clinging to the life and breath and truth that bursts to life from the pages of the Word of a God who lives (He Lives!).
Oh, yes, I want to be bent and broken.
I want to be a mama like you.
I love you, Mama. Happy Mother’s Day and thank you.
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