the gift of a mother’s face …

September 9, 2013

in Spirituality

One day, Mary, a friend of mine, interviewed a woman who had survived a prolonged, traumatic ordeal.  After listening to her terrible story, she asked the woman what she desired.  “Nothing,” came the response.  But Mary could not believe it, and insisted:  “What is your greatest desire?”  And the woman answered, “Just to die.”  Mary still could not believe it.  Finally, the woman said, “I have a desire…but it is just a fantasy.  In my life only one person loved me, my mother, and I no longer remember her face.”  Mary asked the woman:  “Do you have a memory of her?”  “One day, she gave me some little boots, of white felt, that she had made.”  “How did she give them to you?”  “In the morning, she woke me up and she gave them to me.”  “Did she have you put them on?”  “Yes, she had me sit in a chair, and she slipped them on my feet.”  “But how was she positioned…kneeling?”  “Yes, but what absurd questions you ask!  Anyway, yes, she was kneeling to put them on me and she asked me if they fit…”  Suddenly, she went silent.  “Oh, Lord, I see my mother’s face.”  That woman for years, wrote Mary to thank her for giving her back her mother’s face … In the most desperate situation, the deepest desire we have is the desire of the face of someone who loves us. (Traces 7:16, 2013 Filonenko)

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