by: Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer Columnist Barb Lissow

May 5, 2020

Through My Mother’s Eyes

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. (Ps. 139:13-14)

Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer Columnist Barb Lissow

My mother’s name was Grace Eleanor Olin Fischer.  She went to her eternal home with Jesus in May 1998, so the month of May is definitely a time of reflection for me.  As with many mother-daughter relationships, ours was sometimes tender and sometimes tough.  We were quite opposite in many ways: She was pretty, short and petite, I was tall and big-boned; she was dark-haired with dark brown eyes; I was blonde with light green eyes.  When we went anywhere together, I always felt large and out of proportion to my diminutive mother – like the cartoon character Baby Huey looked standing next to his little, loving mother duck.  In fact, some of my mom’s co-workers assumed I was an adopted child until one of them met my dad (who was a tall, blue-eyed, big-shouldered man of German ancestry).  I remember thinking that our personalities were also very different, but the older I get, the more I hear my mother’s voice echoing in my ears, and I see my mother looking back at me in the mirror!

A special gift of my mother’s (which I tried to duplicate but never could) was her ability to knit.  She was a master knitter, and she could read, understand and skillfully complete advanced, complicated knitting patterns for sweaters using exquisite colors and intricate instructions.  My brother and my father were always decked out in handsome vests, cardigans and ski sweaters; all of my friends begged to have my mother make sweaters for them.  But, when it came to making sweaters for me, my sweet mother’s eyes were clouded by her loving vision of her “perfect” girl child.  The long-sleeved versions of my mother’s designs were usually two or more inches short on my arms; the natural stretch of the yarn around my body was extended FAR beyond the manufacturer’s intended “give,” and the length of her creations for me were always just a bit on the short side!

However, one sweater I fondly remember Mom making for me was in my favorite colors and yarn, a light pink and forest green paisley design, knit in shaggy, furry mohair.  She remedied the “short-sleeve syndrome” by making it three-quarter sleeved, and she added a couple of inches in the length so it hit below my hip line!  How I loved that sweater and wore it often … until I saw myself in a photograph taken at a friend’s birthday party!  My large frame and square shoulders covered with that thick layer of shaggy, fluffy fur made me look…well, you probably get the picture.  But I cherished that bulky, sometimes itchy sweater, and kept it for many of my adult years just because it reminded me of my mother.  She loved me very much, and she often told me so, even in my self-perceived inner and outer imperfections.

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Thanks be to God that our loving Heavenly Father sees us as though He is looking at His perfect Son, Jesus Christ.  Our imperfections are remedied!  Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, God has given us the perfect Remedy for our sins.  We are forgiven!  We are not covered in that uncomfortable fig leaf (scratchy and ill-fitting), but by His blood which covers us and makes us white as snow.  “Come now, and let us settle the matter,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, They shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)  We are covered by a made-to-perfection, baby-soft, snow-white “sweater,” individually knit for us by Jesus Christ’s love and sacrifice!

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in his robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

So, as we look forward to Mother’s Day this month, I will remember and treasure my mother’s memory with gratitude, love and affection, thanking God that He allowed me the precious time to help with her care when she was struggling and dying from cancer.  We could be together, to forgive each other for things from our past, rejoice in our love of family, to spend special moments together in prayer, and to laugh and cry.  “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered; blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Romans 4:7-8).  I especially thank our Heavenly Father for covering all of us in His perfect, never-ending love.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Barb Lissow, Faith Lutheran Church

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