Invisible

As promised, here is the first of seven posts in honor of mothers.  Some are fun and some are more serious. Maybe you will see yourself in one of them, whether you are mother, have a mother and/or are like a mother to someone 🙂 This one was sent to me by a friend ~ you may have already seen it.  Even if you have, it’s worth a second read.  I hope you enjoy!

Invisible Woman

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son 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? 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 little louder, ‘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.

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 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 as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only
thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in
a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter
in it. 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 gonna 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.

~~Author Unknown

 

 

 

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