I know it is hard to be a mom. It is really, really hard! It may seem like nothing we do really matters or is even recognized. It may also seem as though there are more important things that we could be doing that would make a difference in the world, but in the end, nothing compares to what we are building within the walls of our home. The next time you feel invisible, read the following story and remember just how important you are. I hope you love this story from Nicole Johnson that she shares in her book, “The Invisible Woman: When Only God Sees.”
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’ Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.
THE INVISIBLE MOM
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’ I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!?
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: ‘To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’
In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book and I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it.
And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re going to love it there.’
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Great Job, MOM
3 thoughts on “INVISIBLE MOM”
Great job, sister!
Your post made me cry because although Christian mom sometimes feel they’re invisible, they need to know that they are extremely important! They form a future generation for the Lord. The don’t usually get the praise of career women, but wnen their children rise up and bless them…it’s all worth the sacrifices along the way. And we can see the adult products of our efforts…Godfearing Christians.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Martha, what a touching comment! No, Christian moms are not looking for praise, but we are hoping to be appreciated or at least understood. We need hugs once in a while to say, “Thanks for working beside me, or thanks for doing what you are doing for our children.”
Moms need smiles too–even when we have had to rebuke the teens we still love. It is good if other moms hug us now and then to say, “I’m on your team. I’m here with you to be a good referee or a straw boss.”
Isn’t it wonderful that God sees and rewards?<3 ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ I think of the elderly mothers whose husbands may have bad health or dementia. Can you imagine your best friend not able to see who you really are or who you are working for now as you deal with him or the second generation's children? At that point, you really are doing what you do for the Invisible One (Hebrews 11:27).
It may not be Mother's Day today, but hug your mother! AND THEN, train that little girl of yours to look forward to being a good invisible mom one day.
LikeLiked by 1 person