Cathedral Builders

I received this from my sister-in-law a few weeks ago and just thought I would share it.  May it encourage you as it encouraged me.

 

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, ‘How do you spell hippopatomus?’ 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
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.

This is beautiful and makes a ton of sense. To all the wonderful
mothers
out there!


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4 thoughts on “Cathedral Builders

  1. Good morning. An incredible admonition to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus in whatsoever capacity he would have us occupy. He gives the increase; we must simply occupy our position.

    I’m reminded of a song from a few years ago entitled “Thank You for Giving to the Lord” which tells of a saint entering heaven and discovering that his embodiment of works was far greater than he had ever imagined. This post I would like to link to when I get a chance. Thanks.

    Have a blessed weekend in Jesus.

    timbob

    Hi Timbob. I know this song of which you speak, and it’s one of my favorites. No work that a saint of God does never goes unnoticed by the Lord. Sometimes God doesn’t let us see the effect we are having in other people’s lives(we might get too puffed up and fail to give God the glory)but in heaven, God will reward His laborers. What better reward could there be than spending all of eternity with Jesus?

    Thanks for stoppping by today.

  2. A nice reminder for all of us who stayed at home to raise our children.

    Hi Helen.
    It’s not something that our society really looks upon as a noble profession, but oh the power of a godly, praying mother! I’m certainly thankful I had one(and still have one)in my life.

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