Saturday, June 11, 2011

An Unexpected Message

My mother is perhaps the most energetic person I've ever known. Even now, in her late-70's, she walks two miles a day, does water aerobics, travels (she is at a cottage in France as I write this), maintains her house and bakes large quantities of British delicacies (sausage rolls, cornish pasties, scotch eggs, etc.) for various organizations and causes.

When my father used to call her from work, he would ask what she was doing and she would describe her activities ("Oh, I've cleaned the basement and now I'm making a few dozen scotch eggs for the Daughters of the British Empire fundraiser."). He would reply with a chuckle, "Well, I'm glad to see you're keeping yourself busy."

It has been several years since my father died. He was 59 and healthy. His death was sudden, unexpected, and devastating to us. My mother dealt with it--and with being alone in an empty house--by throwing herself into various projects. One day, as she was working in the kitchen, she heard my father's voice. It was so clear and audible--as if he were standing behind her--that she whirled around, only to see no one there.

What she heard him say was, "I'm glad to see you're keeping yourself busy."

As a Christian, I have no theology for this. But I know that when my mom described it to me, she wasn't making it up. I also know that it gave her great comfort and reassurance in those first shaky months of widowhood and helped her to find her way forward. I have no theology for it, but I am thankful for it.


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