A couple weeks ago on a Friday I traveled with Monica to her Godmother's funeral in Saginaw. The lady was 95 years old, and Monica had received a birthday card from her every year. But that was the least of the blessings that Evie was to Monica.
Yesterday Monica called her other Godmother on the phone to wish her a happy birthday. Loretta is 96, and had just renewed her driver's license. The sum total of her grandchildren and great grandchildren is 40 or more. She, too, has been a faithful and prayerful supporter of Monica her entire life.
One logical conclusion you could reach from this is really quite simple: God, who knows our needs, recognized the incredible level of prayer support Monica would require throughout her lifetime, and thus granted her two Godmothers who would still be praying for her in their mid-90's. Another conclusion one might reach is that he saw Monica becoming a rich blessing in the lives of many, and gave her these two Godmothers as mentors, that the blessings might be multiplied exponentially. I, for one, choose the latter conclusion.
Throughout my lifetime people have recognized that I am not really Godfather material. Every time I have been asked to be a Godfather it has been as a 'tag-along' to Monica being the Godmother. I have always appreciated their concern for not wanting me to feel left out in the cold. I have also admired their wisdom in recognizing Monica as the greater blessing in the life of their child (something, I believe, each of our Godchildren would attest to).
Whether we are talking about Godparents, Godchildren or people we meet by chance in the street (Have I told you about the motorcyclist or the man and his two daughters I met last week?), a subtle little truth has been slapping me in the face this week ... We have been chosen by God to walk in the footsteps of Abraham!
You might recall how the Lord and two angels visited Abraham right before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. In a conversation with these two angels the Lord says, "Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what he promised him." (Genesis 18.18-19)
Just like Abraham, we are blessed by God to be a blessing to many others. First of all, God bestows blessing after blessing upon us from a complex, and often surprising, blend of sources. Godparents, family, strangers and friends are God's lifelong instruments in bringing his grace into our lives. His goal is that we would experience the riches of his love here on earth, and then its fullness in eternity. And then, before that eternity thing, he seeks to use us and our lives to be a blessing to many, many more. A truly blessed life is lived as we recognize the laser focus of multiple blessings God has coming our way and thus are freed from self (selfishness, self-pity, self justification, self-focus ...) to offer our lives in the service of lifting up (that is, blessing) every life that God leads across our path.
Jesus uses St Paul to say it this way, "Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God." (Romans 12.1-2)
Now, I would be remiss if I did not mention how richly I also have been blessed through my Godparents. They both have been in heaven for a few years already - I even had the privilege of speaking at the memorial service of one of them (and still chuckle at the idea of "destination hospitalizations"). I think, perhaps, God cut short their ministry to me because they could see Monica (great Godmother that she is) taking over their role in my life (I will let you think about that).
BOTTOM LINE: I know that I, like you, have been richly blessed to be a blessing to many.
"Remember," Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4.13-15)