A friend recently loaned me the book The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan, and said she thought I would enjoy it. She added, "It will remind you of your mother." That was all I needed to hear. I knew that anything that would remind me of my mother would be a good read. My mother (we affectionately call her St. Mary) is a saint above saints, a prayer warrior, a model mother, and my dear friend. Quinlan shares the beautiful story of her own prayer warrior mother in the book.
In the midst of grieving for the loss of her beloved mother, Quinlan finds her mother's "God Box," a private collection of notes to God. Mary Finlayson (note: our moms share the same first name) had jotted down prayer requests to God on behalf of family, friends, and strangers and stuffed them into boxes. These petitions spanned twenty years of Mary's life. Imagine the emotional journey that Mary Lou and her family took as they uncovered request after request, the joys and the sorrows of the last two decades that Mary had given to God.
Mary Lou writes, "Mom's faith never flagged. She never stopped hoping for a cure or a miracle." Isn't that a tag line we would all be honored to have after our name - "His faith never flagged." "Her faith never flagged." Instead of grousing and giving up, what if we all kept our faith strong and gave our petitions up to God! This unfailing faith and prayer perseverance is what I see in my own mother.
Instead of a God Box, Mom writes her petitions in her devotional books and in her journals. Dozens of journals are stacked in corners of her bedroom, each containing the accounts of the lives of her family, the blessings of each day, and the petitions for each member of her brood. In her prayers she is bold and specific, recounting to God the trials and triumphs of each family member. Her ultimate plea to God is for all of us to "walk humbly with our God" and to live in God's plan for our lives.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Mom is living her legacy, one filled with undying faith, abiding love, and persevering prayer. What a blessing! What a legacy! Thank you, God, for the power of a praying mother!