Eight years ago this April, my mother passed away. It has been a while since that thought has caused me to burst out in tears, but it still fills me with deep sadness. I miss her terribly. I would give just about anything to be able to hear her deep Southern drawl on the telephone again.
My mom was a unique individual. At one point, at the age of 15, she lived alone with her 17 year-old sister and 13 year-old brother. Just the three of them! And they survived. Mom’s eyesight was horrible for the longest time, but she did not get her first pair of glasses until she bought them at age 19. To say that she grew up in poverty would not even begin to explain it. She was the only one of 10 brothers and sisters to graduate high school.
And yet, she was a quite remarkable woman. When I came along, Mom was only 21 years old. She and Dad had been married 16 months. It’s funny the things I remember about her. She was an outstanding athlete. She started on the varsity basketball team for three years. She pitched batting practice to me when I between the ages of 10 and 14. One time, I ran from her when she was going to spank me. I climbed a tree, thinking that there was no way this “old woman” could catch up with me. I was 7; she was 28.
As she sat on the limb beside me, she “explained” that I had better not run from her again. That was advice that I followed.
I know that not everyone has such memories about their mothers. I am so grateful to the Lord for the blessing of growing up in the home of committed Christian parents. I am grateful for the influence of a godly mother. And one thing I want to do as a pastor is to encourage mothers to live that way before their children.
In Proverbs 31, we read about a remarkable woman who was hard-working and fully committed to the Lord and to her family. The author writes, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” It is my prayer that this will be said of even more mothers. I pray that God will bless your home and your work.
Sunday is Mother’s Day. My sons and I will treat their mother to dinner. We also will take her mother with us. For that privilege, I am grateful. And I want to offer a wish and a prayer for each mother reading this column. Happy Mother’s Day, and may God bless you and your family as only he can.