What Matters

A jumble of happy, concerned family members were visiting with each other and my mama as we came into Room 101 at a rehab hospital Sunday morning. My 10 year old granddaughter Natalia and husband Kent and I had not yet seen the queen, my beautiful, sweetest mama and matriarch to this clan of Thompsons.  My brothers were both there, a sister-in-law, a niece, and another great-granddaughter, a 4 year old looking pretty serious.

Serious for all of us.  My mom, affectionately known as Granny Bo, had fallen and broken her hip.  A bright sky-blue blouse perfectly matched her headband with its knitted flower on her head…near the stitches by her eyes from a fall prior to the big fall of breaking her hip.  She did look a little frail, sitting in a wheel chair, this woman who has faced the good, the bad, and the ugly of life with strength and faith throughout her nearly ninety years.

Suddenly amid the chatter, I saw her bow her head and heard a soft crying.  Then she quickly looked up and said, “I’m not sad; these are happy tears.  I don’t know why I am so emotional. I just feel very loved.”

It’s a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by people to whom you belong, people who have a mutual love and care for each other.  Each person in the room with unique personality and gifts reached out in love.  Not a one that we could have done without in the moment to show Granny Bo our love and concern.

Not everyone has social networks on a personal level.  So we are grateful for each other.  Each one matters.

I matter.  You matter.   Let’s live it out—really be there for each other.  And let’s not say “It doesn’t matter”…whatever the reason we would say that.  People matter.  Their feelings and desires matter in large and small ways.

Somehow somewhere along the way of life I got the idea that I  don’t matter, that it matters not whether I show up since others more talented, effective or whatever, are there, ready and willing to show up.

For so long I did not realize the sacred beauty of each individual, including myself.  Illness got my attention and ironically as I found myself rejecting myself, God got a hold on my attention and let me know that He cared about what I was going through, that He cared about me as a person, that He was really involved in the details of life when I had mistakenly believed He was absent or distant or simply not caring about me and my stuff.

The pressures of pain, the fears of what I didn’t understand going on in my body or what might lay ahead in the future suddenly constricted me to this narrow place.  It was dark and lonely there.

But the Lord showed up in my small space, kind and compassionate, wise in counsel and understanding of my abundant and varied emotions-fear, anger, frustration, semi-trust, humility and pride, joy, unhappiness, peace, and anxiety.

I began to be loved so I could believe I matter and others matter, and I could really love from an anchored place of being loved.

So Mama had a moment, overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s care, especially shown in her family just being there.  Love was there.  People, God, a lot of love.  Because she matters.  We all do matter. Really.





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