“Thank you for all you do!” Her voice was quiet and sincere. I looked behind me for the person she must have been talking to. The formal gowns I found in her secondhand store were being shoved into a big plastic bag. The ticket was miniscule compared to the price someone had paid originally for the privilege of donning one for a formal event or wedding. It was the wrong time of year to sell formals; the price tags had been reduced and reduced until I put them in my basket for $5 each. By the time she rang them up, she had reduced several even further. Quite a treasure find.
I was thinking about the space they would take up in the shipping box and about who might be able to wear the gowns in the Philippines. I could picture two of my sweethearts. I could see one of them, with her long dark hair all braided up, wearing the black puff sleeved floor length gown flowing softly as she walked into the large sanctuary converted into the ballroom for graduation. The second girl I could see wearing the satin blue with ruffles around the neckline, her eyes sparkling as little comments in hushed tones would be expressed about her beauty and poise as she entered.
Some of my darling girls look to me as mother – a mother most of them do not have anymore.
So, when the cashier thanked me, I was thinking…thank me for being a mother? Thank me for loving my girls?
I had not done anything more than I was asked. My friend had asked if I would marry him. I said, “Yes.” He had a task to complete in the Philippines. He had asked if I would join him. I said, “Yes.” The young Philippine girls had things of the heart to talk about. They had asked if I would listen. I said, “Yes.” One day, they asked if I would be their mother. I had to think about that. I had to pray. God asked me if I would allow His love for them to come into my heart. Just love His girls – just be their mother. Nothing more. I said, “Yes.”
“Thank you for all you do!” she had said. It sounded like I had done something heroic by accompanying the love of my life across the globe to hug and sing and listen and pray with my sweet, darling girls. I had not done anything more than I had been asked. It was I who needed to offer up thanks to the Lord Jesus who put that love in my heart. Through my tears, I carried out the bundle of lace and satin and bowed my head to express the same words, “Thank you for all you do!”