There is a transformation that takes place when a woman moves from being a “forty-something” year old mother of teenagers to being a grandmother. One of the early signs of this change is the acquisition of little eccentric things around the house. It’s quite unexplainable, but grandmothers purchase things to hang on walls and sit on shelves they wouldn’t have considered bringing home in the past. Quite often these are fragile things that little children find fascinating but are not allowed play with: figurines, music boxes, lava lamps, doorbells that play Christmas carols etc. Clocks are high on the “top-ten-list” of grandmotherly acquisitions. My Grandma on my Dad’s side owned a cuckoo clock. It just wasn’t grandma’s house unless that cuckoo squawked out every new hour, on the hour, all night long, followed by a little German folk song. My Grandma on my Mother’s side had a cat clock on the kitchen wall. As the seconds ticked away the tail of the cat which hung below the clock wagged back and forth, and the big round eyes on the face of the cat clock looked left and then right in concert. Strange but quite captivating.
A novelty clock was my first peculiar purchase when I became a grandma. I’m sure I have made others, but I think one becomes so accustomed to being a grandma that we stop noticing. The transformation is almost imperceptible. And our home decorating is not the only sign. One day we simply decided our own mother was perfectly sensible in wearing an apron when she cooked Sunday dinner, and we get one of the many we have inherited but never worn out of a drawer, and we tie it about our waste. More and more often we hear ourselves saying to young people, “Well, when I was a little girl…” Hot cereal is a treat, and finding a pair of sensible shoes is a thing to celebrate. Who knows how it is accomplished. Only God can make a Grandma.
This week I had an experience that involved my bird clock. I share this experience at some personal risk, the risk of revealing that my mind is also showing my age. The other evening I was eating dinner on the back patio. While I was eating I heard my clock announce the hour of the day. Each hour is sounded off by a different birdcall. Several other times in the last ten years I’ve heard this particular call while I’ve been outside close to my house. My mother has a similar clock and lives just across the street. “Perhaps there are others in our maturing neighborhood who own the same clock,” I always wonder. This particular call is so mechanical I can hardly believe there’s a real bird that makes such a noise. I was in a hurry to finish eating and get to an evening appointment. I glanced down at my watch. It read 6:20. “What, my clock must be broken. That bird call is not sounding on the hour.” Then came the great awakening. “Wait a minute! Could that be a real bird! Could it possibly be that every time I’ve been outside and heard that call it’s been a real bird?” My mother phoned while I was taking this in. “Oh, you mean the Morning Dove,” she laughed as I told her about “my moment.”
The next day as I was riding my bike I heard the call of the morning dove again. This time I didn’t wonder which grandma in the neighborhood had just bought a bird clock. No! I looked around and sure enough, up on the telephone wire was the real thing. I was suddenly mindful or awake to something that had always been a reality.
Step 12 speaks of having “a spiritual awakening as a result of Atonement of Jesus Christ.” As we apply Steps 1 through 11 the cumulative effect is a growing spiritual awareness. The before and after distinction is so great that sometimes we say we have come from a place where we were spiritually asleep or dead. This spiritual awakening is directly connected to Jesus. Over time and with hard work we become awake to the Lord. We become acutely aware that the Savior we have read about, and sung about, and been taught about all our lives is more alive and interested in us as individuals than we ever dared imagine.
As a result of applying these Gospel principles to my everyday life I am waking up. I’m beginning to see and feel and hear His persistent witness, to me personally, that He is alive. Through the Holy Spirit I’m learning to recognize His voice. I’m learning to feel His presence. I have experienced His desire to give me direction and power in any aspect of life where I struggle.
My experience with the Morning Dove reminds me of my experience with the Lord, who the Apostle John called “Morning Star.” With the little dove I became suddenly and keenly aware that the call I was hearing was the voice of a living thing. Now that I’m conscious I hear that little bird call many times each day. My awakening to the Lord has been a gradual process but just a real. As I sit hear writing with my office window open I can hear the call of a nearby dove. I think the Lord must intend the little bird and his call to forever remind me that my living Savior is very much alive and always near!
By Nannette W.
Posted Sunday, May 31, 2009
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