To the hurting, on Mother’s Day
As Mother’s Day draws near, many are celebrating the joy…
“Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me. Let me be singing when the evening comes.”
— from “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman
I’m not looking forward to Mother’s Day this year.
I never have. It’s a schmaltzy, overcommercialized, pseudo-holiday that only greeting card companies enjoy — and mothers, I suppose.
For me, it’s just one more day to feel guilty about forgetting. And I have forgotten it. A lot.
Not this year. For many of us, this will be the first Mother’s Day that we’ll be unable to make that sheepish phone call, confessing that we didn’t get the card in the mail on time. Our mothers won’t be here to call.
I just read our blog post about church member Angi Brenton, who died May 8 after a three-month battle with pancreatic cancer. My heart breaks for her husband, son and daughter.
My colleague, Bobby Ross, dedicated a recent column to Mom’s final days. My dad, my brother-in-law and my sister did the heavy lifting during the five months after we learned it was stage four pancreatic cancer. I pray that my two girls will show the strength, stamina and humor my sister managed as she ministered to our mom.
In my 11 years with The Christian Chronicle, I’ve attended church conferences around the globe. Having dad there with me made it special. But it also produced a strange sense of yearning. There, in the rafters of the Fieldhouse, I started to miss mom.
Almost on cue, the Zoe Group launched into its a cappella rendition of Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons.”
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul. Worship his holy name. Sing like never before, O my soul. I’ll worship your holy name.”
“I knew it,” I heard Dad whisper, resolutely. “I knew they’d do this song.”
This Christian grew up under a regime that didn’t care much for his family’s faith. His father, a devout believer, endured hardship because of his devotion. He was passed over for promotions and.gif?Action=thumbnail&Width=460&algorithm=proportionalts — including a TV.
I asked him if he ever resented his father’s faith, since it had denied him these.gif?Action=thumbnail&Width=460&algorithm=proportionalts.
“We owe a lot to the faith of our fathers, don’t we?” I asked him. It wasn’t really a question. It was a realization.
I’ve known for quite some time that the work I’m doing for The Christian Chronicle relates directly to my parents’ devotion to God. Mom told me, repeatedly, that she prayed for me — much in the same way that Hannah prayed for her own son, Samuel, to be a man dedicated to the Lord. Throughout my life, mom and dad have been quiet examples of faith and perseverance.
I have thrived under the protection of my mother’s prayers. I have grown in faith by following my father’s example.
“For all your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find.”
Yes, I will mourn on my first “white rose” Mother’s Day, but I will praise God all the same. I have 10,000 reasons to sing to my Redeemer.
About 9,900 of them come from mom and dad.
The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
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