As my mother grew older she became more spiritual. Now this is no small thing. She was pretty much a giant in the faith when I was pretty young. She ate up everything in sight in the Congregational Church having to do with God’s word and the teachings of Jesus. She went to bible studies and prayer groups just about every day.
When we came home from school some days the kitchen table was piled high with bibles, concordances, notes and journal jottings. She was not kidding around. She was going to be close to God and that was all there was to it.
Even though she has Alzheimers at 81, you can see the Spirit is still alive and well in her, still shining:
She was on fire for God while I was in high school. She could tell if I was up to no good before I could and would be praying for me to change my mind.
One thing she couldn’t abide was TV watching, especially at the dinner table. She said we all turned into mesmerized zombies in front of the screen. I can’t remember which one of us had the guts one night to nudge the TV into the dining room to watch a favorite show during dinner.
Mom had been out all day praying with the women in various bible studies in the new church she was taking us too. They loved Jesus there, but were also very big on the Holy Spirit. I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this, because I don’t remember telling a soul about this night. Now you may chalk all this up to superstitious nonsense, but I’m not one to criticize a fired up mother who believes she has God on her side.
The four of us kids were eating our dinner and watching some lame, but favorite program on the TV we’d smuggled in. In bursts my mom from the kitchen through the swinging door and spots the TV. She shook her hand and the TV and said in a loud voice, “Come out of that television right now devil in the name of Jesus!” The TV went black the moment she said it, a little smoke came out of it and it died on the spot!
Well you never saw four more drop-jawed children in your life. Me most of all. I would laugh now, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to do it when I’m alone. Oh when the four of us have been together we’ve had a chuckle, but never in front of Mom.
She grew in our esteem that night. Our respect knew no bounds. You can argue coincidence or even trickery and I couldn’t prove you wrong. I have no explanation for an exploding old TV set that died on cue. But it tells you something about moms, single ones especially. You can push the envelope with them for just so long and then you’d better toe the line — because they will surely get help from God above to make their point — if you don’t listen to them!
At least, that’s the message I took away from the night. That and that my mom isn’t big on TV watching, especially with dinner!