learning grace

she calls me in quiet sadness, says in soft British voice, “em, dad won’t let me go to the centre today.”

mum has found a home at the local adult day centre, a place where people of small and large disability gather as one to do crosswords and play bingo and eat meat and potatoes. when mum needs to rest, there are easy chairs. when mum needs to chat, there are adults to listen and she feels normal there.

but fridays are for those suffering dementia. i tell her this, remind her gently and she says, “what does that matter?” and i think, hmm, what does that matter? “well mum, they’re different…” and she says in return, “so am i. we can be different, together.”

different, together. isn’t this it? the message of the gospel? the meaning of church? it’s not about pressed suits and ironed dresses and curled hair and sitting in a pew. it’s about meeting at a day-centre, in stretchy blue pants and stained sweater, doing cross-words with other adults who may forget your name but who will sit with you and touch your hand and smile as, together, you learn how to walk in grace.

(photo of my mum, on left, running as a little girl)



  1. Teneale said,

    February 26, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I’m so glad your mom has found friends and a “home away from home.” That is an answer to prayer. I always find that the people I suspect least of teaching me a lesson about God are the ones thay most often do. This is a good reminder of what God has called us to do. Hugs.

    • marge said,

      February 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

      Hi Em, I really found your writing great, Iam glad that your mom has a place to go and visit others. What a blessing. Tell her hi from me, Love you mom xoxox

  2. Linda said,

    February 27, 2010 at 2:03 am

    I love your Mum’s gentle spirit Em. She is so right. Would that we could all have such a heart.

  3. melanie said,

    March 1, 2010 at 2:04 am


    yes, this is what church should be. what a beautiful reminder

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