Sunday, October 14, 2007

Invisible?

I found this very interesting. Many times I have felt like getting a shirt that said; Yes, I am Kurt's wife and Sarah's Mom and in recent years adding Kristen's mom. I think as mom's there are times when we love our own identity. This kind of helps to put everything into perspective.

Perspective: The Invisible Woman
By Nicole Johnson
It started to happen gradually. One day, I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand, and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?""Nobody," he shrugged."Nobody?" said the crossing guard, and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, "Oh, my goodness, nobody?"I would walk into a room, and no one would notice. I would say something to my family like, "Turn the TV down, please," - and nothing would happen.Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a littlelouder, "Would someone turn the TV down?"Nothing. Just the other night, my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours, and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are."He just kept right on talking.That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.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.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 ofhands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time isit?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the DisneyChannel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and theeyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cumlaude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never tobe seen again.She's going-- she's going-- she's gone!One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the returnof a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabuloustrip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. Iwas sitting there, looking around at the others all put together sowell. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as Ilooked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I couldfind that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a bananaclip, and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. Iwas feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with abeautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactlysure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "ToCharlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are buildingwhen no one sees."In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I woulddiscover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, afterwhich I could pattern my work:* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no recordof their names.* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would neversee finished.* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that theeyes of God saw everything.A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visitthe cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carvinga tiny bird on the inside of a beam! He was puzzled and asked theman, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beamthat 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 wasalmost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. Isee the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around youdoes. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, nocupcake 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 whatit will become."At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not adisease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of myown self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubbornpride.I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. Asone of the people who show up at a job that they will never seefinished, to work on something that their name will never be on. Thewriter of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals couldever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willingto sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friendhe's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes aturkey 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 justwant him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more tosay to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen ifwe're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the worldwill marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty thathas been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

That is beautiful.

As are your fall pictures...