Recently, I remembered a story that my mom told me many years ago. I was a teenager at the time. She came home from work late one night and said, "Tonight I cut a man's hair and he looked just like Jesus!"
That got my attention so I listened intently. She continued, "He was my last client and he told me to just cut but keep his hair long."
She said he was the best client she ever had. He was quiet the whole time. He didn't complain or give her a hard time. He just sat at her station quietly. And at the end of the service he paid and then left. My mom never got his name and she never saw him again.
Although I will never know the story of this man, my mom's encounter with a man who had such a physical similarity to Jesus made me contemplate Jesus. It made me realize that Jesus is always with me, and will always be with me through the best and worst of times.
This incident happened in 1997, before my mom was diagnosed with three large tumors on her spinal cord. My mom's neurosurgeon told her she had a 75 percent chance of paralysis. That thought put my parents on edge for many days and nights. She was very afraid before the surgery, and suffered greatly after it.
During my mom's time of hardship I remember a great number of family members and friends lifting her up in prayer. That, I believe, is the beauty of prayer. Prayer brings people together for a common good. Prayer allows us to unite for the sake of our loved ones. Prayer is incredibly powerful and strengthens us in the most trying of times.
Mom's surgery was a very trying time, but she made it and recovered. And the outcome of that surgery has had many positives! Foremost, my mom and dad's faith grew a hundred fold and they have become more devout to our Lord and his Blessed Mother. They have also become more committed to each other. And their faith was strengthened for all the other surgeries and trials they endured over the years.
Because they believed in God who is all loving and healing, I witnessed and I also believed. What my mom went through would have never been possible to endure without the Lord's strength and goodness. Without a doubt He carried their burdens.
My mom's surgery for the ependymoma happened 20 years ago. Today, she is feeling well (and continues to recover from a recent surgery but that's another story). Thanks be to God we got to celebrate her 70th birthday this month of July.
And thanks be to God for my mom's beautiful life and for Jesus reminding us of His abundant love and blessings.