she taught me how to love people.
in my elementary years, i watched up close because i had no choice.
i had to go with her to church and got to see her teach and lead and serve.
i had to be in the car when she picked up some girls and their yard smelled of pigs because that was their family livelihood. and they needed a ride.
i had to sit around the table and listen to the missionaries who were living dangerously in hard places around the world.
i had to practice my piano at the nursing home because mom said the residents needed a song.
i had to say hello when i was spoken to because people matter.
in my childhood years, i was just always with her and she was always doing this. it’s who she was.
i thought it was because she was a pastor’s wife, but i met other pastor’s wives and they weren’t like mom.
i thought it was because she was trying to earn cool points in my small town. that wasn’t it. you had to be born and raised there to get those points. and she wasn’t.
in my middle school and high school years, she didn’t change. i changed. i didn’t need rides anymore. i was more involved at school and my church activities weren’t always her church activities. those rare moments when i was paying attention, she was still loving people.
in my college years and young twenties, i thought back to the simple life my mom lived while me and my sisters were home. i thought it was too small. i didn’t see it as far-reaching. i knew she wasn’t afraid to go over and care for those who lived on the other side of the tracks. i knew she was a powerful prayer warrior for people all over the world. i knew she had traveled globally and was involved in an international organization that was sending Christians out all over the world to teach the Gospel. but i still thought it simple. i still thought it containable.
then i got a job.
then i found myself needing love.