A recent post on the this mysterious life blog (the mostly fearless pursuit of insight and illumination) put me in mind of the story Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. (I cannot read that book without blubbering.)
Debra McKune, the author of the post, writes about watching a son share a prayer book with his elderly mother. McKune imagines that the mother in her youth was the one lovingly, patiently sharing books with her child, and now all that good has come right back to her.
© 2011 Debra McKune
What goes around comes around. So the saying goes. It seems that most times, the phrase is used to refer to something unpleasant. Someone (not any of us, of course), does something mean to someone else and the someone else quotes the familiar phrase in a somewhat hopeful manner.
Recently, I was fortunate to witness this saying in action in a most wonderful way. What goes around comes around – turned inside out. I am currently working as a chaplain intern in a place that offers regular religious services to its residents. Last week, I watched a mother and son worship together. The son was visiting his elderly mother. She sat in her wheelchair and he sat in a chair beside her. They shared a prayer book, their heads close together as they read through the parts of the service. Occasionally, the son would turn pages and the mother would tilt her head up and smile. Sometimes, the son would gently reach a finger to touch a page, helping his mother find her place. Often, he would keep his finger on the page, slowly moving it beneath the words so his mother could follow along. Mother and son would make eye contact and smile at each other. You know those smiles. They’re the smiles that say everything without saying a word.
As I watched, I marveled at the son’s gentleness, his patience, his pleasure as he spent this time with his mother, happily helping her remember how to worship. As I witnessed this sublimely beautiful exchange, my imagination wandered back in time. I saw the son as a child, the mother lovingly, patiently doing the same things, happily teaching her son how to worship.
What goes around comes around. Amen.
© 2011 Debra McKune