Tag Archives: Helen Steiner Rice

PANDEMIC 2020 VISION : Mother’s Day

“Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Ex 20:12

Today is the 54th day (by my count) of quarantine, and during it all, I have been writing a couple letters a day. When I was growing up, letter writing was the social media of the day. After all – long distance phone calls cost money back in those days, and the internet – well – lets just say it was a twinkle in the sky waiting to be pulled down to earth.

When the day came to clean out my parents’ home, I found lots of letters and postcards stuffed into corners, boxes and even a tiny suitcase. Letters from friends who had moved to other states, extended family who lived outside an easy drive, WWII buddies who had written to Dad, brothers who were serving in other countries, sisters who lived just 50 miles away. Letters unfinished in notebooks.

It was a treasure chest of times gone by.

Most of Mom and Dad’s letters were written on plain paper or notebook paper. I still have a couple they wrote to me in college, and a couple they wrote to each other during WWII that are beyond precious to me. Every now and then – when I just need to hear their voices in my head – I will pull out those letters and read them again. It is like an audio that never gets erased.

As I grew older, I noticed when Mom did buy cards, she would buy special ones. She bought one for my Mother-in-Law when she was battling cancer. Helen cried as she shared it with me; telling me how special it was because of the letter and the poem. Mom’s favorite cards usually did have poems written by Helen Steiner Rice. So as I wrote letters during this time of isolation, I pulled out some of Mom’s old cards and some of the poetry books that she collected by this poet. Thus, I included one with every letter I wrote as a tribute to her.

So – since tomorrow is the 55th day of quarantine (by my count), I am writing my Mother’s Day Card to Mom and my Mother-in-Law, Helen, in Heaven. Couldn’t ask for two better mothers who brought so much wisdom and love to my life. Needless to say, I’m enclosing a Helen Steiner Rice Poem.

“A Mother’s Love”

A Mother’s love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,

It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .

It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .

It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .

It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .

A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God’s tender guiding hand.

– HELEN STEINER RICE  mother-in-laws[personal image]

A Shard of Faith

Storms of LifeA day without anything on the schedule is rare for me – even in retirement. Today was one of those days. The Grands are loving on their other grandparents. Daughter and husband are enjoying being hosts. So I putzed in the garden, worked on dad’s memory book of artifacts and pictures, read a little, worked a jigsaw puzzle, read a little more, planned a trip to Boston to see an old friend, mapped out a tentative trip to OH/MI, and finally decided to get a family doctor…are you bored yet? But through it all, found an hour to spend reading the WORD – which I sorely needed.

After that I spent some time reading “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. It makes me think about how I pray. It is easy to say the words – “I’ll pray for you…I’m praying for you..You’re in my prayers…” and then follow through by writing it down in my prayer journal and saying a small prayer at some point during the day. A vague prayer spoken in response to someone’s need. Does God listen and answer vague prayers? I’ve been thinking about this all weekend.

I decided that I think He does…especially when it concerns someone else’s needs. He knows that we don’t know the specifics in those cases, but He honors the love being shown to His children by listening and honoring even our short prayers. However – Batterson makes the point that Jesus stressed being being specific when we come before Him in prayer for ourselves.

“As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.” Matt 20:29-34

He knew they wanted to be healed so that they could see, and yet – He asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Batterson states: “Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in a well-lived life.” p25

I don’t know about you – but when it comes to answering Christ’s question -“What do you want me to do for you?” – I am not so well-defined. I stutter. I croak. I cringe. But over the past few days – I’m trying to find the words. I’m trying to “spell” them out in a more definitive way because that is how faith grows. If I have faith enough to trust My Father to approach Him in prayer, I should have faith enough to be specific. Get logic out of the way. Get the “reasonable” words out of the way. I don’t have to “justify” His potential answers. Just lay it before Him and KNOW that while His answers may NOT be my answers – His answers are ALWAYS the BEST answers.

I love it when My Father allows me to catch a glimpse – out of the corner of my eye – of a shard of truth. I continue to pick them up whenever I am blessed to find them – and the amazing thing is – they fit together so perfectly that they are no longer individual broken pieces. They have just become a more beautiful shard – still small – still incomplete – but growing larger and larger as my faith grows.

“Often during a busy day
I pause for a minute to silently pray.
I mention the names of those I love
And treasured friends I am fondest of —-
For it doesn’t matter where we pray
If we honestly mean the words we say,
For God is always listening to hear
The prayers that are made by a heart that’s sincere.” Helen Steiner Rice