Monday, July 31, 2006

For Mom

Memorial Service
Jennifer S. Ewing
July 31, 2006
James G. Ewing, Jr.

I think my family fought the tendency this week to blame itself for this trouble. Surely a family as strong as mine could have prevented this atrocity with more care for Mom’s safety, more attention to her whereabouts, or more warning on the dangers of riding alone.
What I have realized is this: only things can be made safe. You can hide away your treasures from the world, ensuring that they endure well beyond their use, but you cannot protect a person from the attacks of a ruthless enemy.
Mom was a staunch believer in spiritual warfare. Anytime we felt our family coming under spiritual attack, Mom was quick to remind us that a clever enemy only lashes out against a threat. She always said that, as a Christian, if you’re not under attack, you’re probably on the wrong track.
What we all must realize is that her death took place on the front lines of a battle much older than anyone in range of my voice. The enemy is smart, and Mom was always on the front line.
She was on the front lines of everything - especially anything funny. What can you say about a 54 year-old woman who watched Napoleon Dynamite on a weekly basis and regularly quoted Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at the dinner table?
Mom played her group of seventh-grade Home-school British Literature Students a clip from The Blues Brothers and created a miniature rift in the Home-school parent community.

She was hilarious.

I thumbed through Mom’s library this week and I came across a quote from Elisabeth Elliot’s book “A Lamp for My Feet.” She said:

When we imagine that our problems are so deep, so insoluble, or so unusual that no one really understands us, we delude ourselves…Our story, whatever it is, is an old one, and He who has walked the human road has entered fully into our experiences of sorrow and pain and has overcome them. He has comforted others in our situation, gone with them into the same furnaces and lions’ dens, and has brought them out without smell of fire or mark of tooth.

Hebrews 4:15 and 16 says:

Ours is not a high priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who, because of his likeness to us, has been tested in every way, only without sin. Let us therefore boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and in his grace find timely help.

Today I ask for help, but I also bear witness to a life well-lived and a family built strong on Christ; the only foundation that can’t be shaken.

An annual tradition in our family was for Mom to read Truman Capote’s book “A Christmas Memory” as we sat by the tree. The last paragraph details the death of Capote’s dear friend and it’s a reflection of how I feel. Mom never made it through the end without crying, but I’ll try:

And when [she’s gone] that happens, I know it. A message saying so merely confirms a piece of news some secret vein had already received, severing from me an irreplaceable part of myself, letting it loose like a kite on a broken string. That is why, walking across a school campus on this particular December morning, I keep searching the sky. As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying toward heaven.

Today we feel like a thousand kites cut loose from their moorings…..but we’re not. We’re bound tightly to the hand of Jesus; connected to one another in a web of love crafted by my mother.


Betsy N said...

So beautiful, Jimmy. Daily in my thoughts.
In Him all things hold together.

AllisonGail said...

Jimmy, the testimony of your mom's life and your family life is amazing in this writing. It is so encouraging to see you take this touches my life. Your writing is poetic here and I pray that your mom's legacy and the legacy you are creating touches the lives of many.

The Clemmons Family said...

We don't know each other, I got your blog address from Noelle's. The Sutton family attended church with us in Washington before moving to Texas.

Anyway, Thank you. I just wanted you to know I was blessed by what you said about your mother. To be a mother is a very task sometimes.

Thanks you. Ann

The Clemmons Family said...

We do not know each other, I got your blog address form Noelle's. The Sutton family attended church with us in Washington before moving to Texas.

I just wanted to say Thank you for the words you said about your mother. I was blessed. Being a mother is a very hard task sometimes, to hear a son's words about his mother did my heart good this morning. Thank you.


Ally said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing; I'm glad I linked around the blogosphere tonight.

It sounds like your family has been incredibly blessed by your mother's life and her faith. And what a perfect place for us all to be--bound tightly to Christ's hand.