How Big Things Put Little Things in Perspective

The love of a mother and a daughter gives the day its proper prayer focus.

Posted in , Aug 21, 2019

Love between mother and daughter

I dropped my cell phone on the bathroom floor early in the morning, and it broke.

Just a little crack on the screen, I told myself. Not to worry. Alas, it was more than a crack–or many cracks–on the glass. A corner was dented, and I couldn’t read any email anymore.

Somebody was going to be spending some time in the Apple store and that somebody would be me.

I sat down on the couch to do my morning prayer time and the darn phone kept intruding in my thoughts. I wanted to pray for a friend whose 93-year-old mother had died–I’d just read her email before I dropped the phone–and all the while I was wondering, How much is fixing the phone going to cost?

I castigated myself for clumsiness and worrying. I prayed a little more–and worried some more–and then went out on my morning run. My very slow morning run. With my broken phone in the pocket.

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I know people who say they can pray when they run. And sometimes that works for me. But this morning I was still irritated about the phone. I couldn’t even tune into to my favorite Bible podcast. My feet pounded the pavement, and I wished it weren’t so hot and humid.

I was rounding the last corner for the last push up the last hill when I saw my neighbor Anne, the very one who had sent me the email about her mother. I called out, “Anne!”

She turned around. “The last thing you need is a sweaty hug,” I said. But she opened her arms, and we did hug. “Your mother was a wonderful woman,” I said. “And you were a wonderful daughter to her.”

“Thanks,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I’m doing okay.”

We talked a little more before I headed up the hill and home. Somehow the phone disaster didn’t seem like such a big deal. The love of a mother and daughter was more important.

I don’t doubt that we’re supposed to pray for little things because they can feel like big things, but it’s when the really big things intervene that we can recover our perspective. That is my prayer:

God who numbers the hairs on my head, don’t let me waste too much time splitting them.

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