Frances and Bernie Underwood 1923, according to the note on the back of the photo. My mom at five years old with her first brother.
I woke up with a compelling need to find this photo and connect with the power and hope in those two round faces shining out from ninety-five years ago somewhere in Philadelphia.
I also woke up with Mom’s voice in my head: For crying out loud in a bucket! She did not swear, but this phrase fit the bill for her when a little something else was called for.
Sunday’s reading, Isaiah’s voice crying out in the desert, has also come to mind.
I like to think that Mom and Bernie reconnected happily in heaven after years of estrangement. I like to think Mom and I will reconnect some day on a better note. I hope for healing of the many disconnects and distances that have happened in our family, anybody else’s family, and the larger family of the world.
I’m not doing a good job of finding a way to express how this is all impacting me this morning, but I think Isaiah has it covered (40,6-8)
A voice says, “Cry out!”
I answer, “what shall I cry out?”
“All mankind is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
The word of our God stands forever.”