Doing things right

I met a woman on the golf course today named Donna. She got me thinking. She told me a lot about herself in a short amount of time. She was Irish, Catholic, and had worked as a nurse most of her life. Now she golfs. A lot.

The most interesting thing Donna said was that she had an absolutely horrible father but that her mother was a saint. Her mother helped her survive the cruelty of an "evil father" and she referred to her several times as her "sainted mother." "In fact," she said, "every night when I pray, I turn off everything, the television, my phone, any other possible distractions, and I pray and say - 'Hello, God. Hello, Mom.'"

There on the edge of the green on hole 9, where I had encountered her waving my pitching wedge in the air because I had left it on hole 8 and was going back for it, Donna's voice cracked and her eyes filled with tears - tenderly remembering her sainted mother.

"Hello, God. Hello, Mom."

Praying to mom? Is that even right? By that I mean is God ok with her saying that? I admit that's where my head went for the first few seconds. But that's not where my heart went. Her vulnerability drew me in, established a human connection, and broke my heart into little pieces. Yet, at the same time, my heart was assuaged too, comforted by her brave and beautiful admission that she talks to her mother every night at the same time
she talks to God.

Earlier in the day an author and theologian I follow on social media had answered a question someone had asked him regarding Christian faith. The question was - "What if I get it wrong?" His answer - "We all get it wrong. All the time. God understands."

How could we not get it wrong? God is God. And we are frail, flawed, limited humans. I don't know how God feels about sharing Donna's prayer attention with Donna's mother. But I suspect, right or wrong, God's heart breaks for Donna's sad story, too. And God understands.

Grace and peace,