I re-discovered this photo the other day. Here, in 1978, you handed your first-born daughter (me!) to your grandmother. I’m sure, like all new mothers, you were exhausted, but you aren’t in another room getting a snack or a nap, you are right beside me, still mothering. You are making sure your baby is safe and loved. You are giving me my first lesson in ministry: take care of the weak and needy, or, in Scriptural language, “the least of these.”
Throughout my life you have lived before me the example of dying to self while caring for others. And I’m not the only one who has experienced this; many others have been blessed by your self-sacrificing love. You have frequently ministered to the greatest: seminary presidents, publishers, composers, scientists, authors and speakers. You have fed them, body and soul, too. But it is with the least that you really shine: uncertain college students, heart-sick women, my own children.
You are attractive to the least. They seek you out because you are interested in knowing them and finding out their needs. You bend down and ask questions to children. You visit the sick (even though you faint at the sight of blood.) You spend time with women who are broken by the effects of divorce or death. Mom, your efforts are precious to Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 25:40, “as you did it to one of the least of these. . .you did it to me.”
What I know about looking out for the weak, I learned from you. The Apostle Paul commends Pastor Timothy, saying, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Timothy 1:5). These days, my prayer is that, like Timothy, my children will be those who care for the least. I hope they can see in me what I learned from you.
This photo is in my wedding album. At the finale to Act I of mothering, you aren’t touching up your lipstick or crying in the corner. You are sewing my stubborn zipper. All anyone can see is your hands, caring for another. Thanks, Mom, and Happy Mother’s Day.
Leave a comment to share a lesson you learned from your mom.