"I wish one day you would go back to God," she spoke softly...
Updated: May 15, 2019
I’d grown to love visiting Mom's tiny one bedroom home that sat curbside to the marshy expanse of St. Augustine’s intracoastal waterway. The drive into her neighborhood meandered around mundane screened porches surrounded by dense low pygmy palms and lush green ferns. But the true beauties along the path were the majestic sea oaks, grand dames of old who swished and swirled their capes of soft green Spanish moss to the rhythm of a warm evening breeze.
Mom and I sat on her small porch watching the hues of a soft buttery sunset begin to melt into the horizon with shades of orange, interrupted only by an egret’s flight, his long beak piercing the air, his slender white body and spindly legs trailing behind in the search for shallow waters. The tide was high, thin reeds stretched to keep their heads above the water watching for small sails and the spattering of motor boats slipping toward the town’s harbor.
Mom’s voice broke into the evening orchestra of tree frogs and cicadas. “I wish one day you would go back to God,” she spoke softly, with noticeable regret that I was not the pastor of a church or even attending any church regularly now for over ten years. “I never left God, Mom.” I spoke gently, feeling her longing and hope for me. “I left the Church because I lost my mind” I laughed a little, trying to make light of the last statement, knowing we both understood it was frighteningly close to the truth. “But I never left God, Mom--and God never left me. If anything, I believe the things that Jesus taught more than ever, I just understand them in a whole new way."