I heard a preacher once say, "We should give people flowers while they are alive, not after they've died." I can't remember the context of his statement or even the name of the preacher, but I completely agree with his remark and philosophy.
With that being said, I want to pay tribute to a very special woman... my mother.
My mom and I have always been very close. As I grew into adulthood, we’ve maintained a close relationship... more of a friendship than a mother/son relationship, (though she is quick to remind me of her motherhood if I debate her too stringently). When my dad died in 2004, I started calling her every day just to check on her and make sure she wasn't down or discouraged, (we lived in separate states). Now, if I do not call her by 10:00 AM, she calls me to make sure I'm alright.
Why the Tribute?
"Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first." Mark 10:29-31.
Most of the time we apply this passage to the missionary who is leaving family behind to go into a foreign field and labor in the Kingdom, and exegetically, we are right to do so - but I think there is more here than meets the eye. What about the ones who are being left behind? What about the mother who would much rather her son stay nearby and be readily available… especially in her twilight years?
As my departure date draws nearer, I see concerns, questions, and a little pain in her eyes. It was one thing when I was a year away from leaving… it's another thing entirely now that I'm only 23 days away from leaving. Lately, I've even seen a few tears in her sweet aging eyes, as we have moved from "months away" to "days away." But I also see something else in her eyes… understanding.
You see, my mother is a follower of Jesus, (I had the wonderful privilege of teaching her the gospel and baptizing her into Christ soon after I became a Christian). Because she is a follower of Christ, she understands. She understands that there are so many people that need to hear the wonderful message of Christ. She understands that the Bible teaches people are heading for a very real eternal destiny as fast as this life will take them and regretfully, most will be lost, Matthew 7:13-14. She understands the importance of preaching and teaching the Gospel of Christ. She understands that Christ is the only way for men to return to God, John 14:1-6. She understands.
I honor her for her sacrifice. The sacrifice of leaving father, mother, brother, sister, children, and home is one thing, but there is also the sacrifice of sending… for sending out a son to preach with her blessing. This is my mother's sacrifice and I believe she is due this small honor of mentioning it to those who follow this mission.
Please pray for her, bless her, call her on the phone, take her to lunch, and comfort her while I am gone. (If she messes up her computer, someone please help get her back online). She is the sweetest woman I know and she is also sacrificing for the Kingdom in sending out her son to preach the good news of Jesus!
I love you mom! May God bless you with His most special blessings!
Remember the last part of the Mark passage above; those who sacrifice for the Kingdom shall "receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."
Heaven is watching mom… God sees your sacrifice!