Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Mother's Day Tribute

Mom with Chloe (my niece)


On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to take the opportunity to brag on my mom. There are a lot of things I could say about her, but for now I’ll narrow it down to just three.

She is a woman of genuine love. She is far from perfect, but her love for me has been constant. You could even say my mother is my best friend. She is sweet and gentle. She constantly edifies others and rarely resorts to teasing. I, on the other hand, am prideful and sarcastic. Mom hates sarcasm with a passion. You do the math. And yet my mother’s love for me has been constant throughout my entire life. Why she loves me so much, I have no stinking clue. Our family has been through a lot together, but that doesn’t totally explain it; I’m not all that lovable. It all points back to God: Mom’s genuine love shows that Christ’s redemptive work is resulting in much fruit.

She is a woman of perseverance. My mother has dealt with a myriad of physical ailments her entire life. Whether or not she is healed in this life or the one to come, God’s strength has been perfected on numerous occasions through her physical weaknesses. A million examples could be shared—yes, a million (I counted them)—but I am reminded of two afflictions that have tested her physically, as well as emotionally and spiritually.

1. My father was diagnosed with cancer when I was three. My father died of cancer when I was ten. For almost a decade, my mother faced the slow death of her husband. As the years progressed—as my dad lost his sight in one eye, lost his hearing in one ear, and eventually became blind—Mom’s responsibilities to our family continually grew. Researching medicinal and natural health options, organizing recurring trips to a medical facility in Mexico, caring for my father’s daily needs—Mom did it all. By God’s grace, we lived in a Christian/missionary community where literally dozens and dozens of families served us during my father’s illness. We couldn’t have survived without them. But as my father’s wife, Mom received a special amount of grace to care for us all and grow in faith at the same time.

2. A couple years after my father’s death, my brother became strangely ill. When his condition suddenly worsened, he was rushed to the hospital, where we discovered he had leukemia. Over the next few days, it was questionable if he was even going to live. In the years that followed, Mom once again had to deal with cancer—this time attacking her youngest son. Again, God’s grace abundantly met us in our weakness. And through God’s grace, Mom’s perseverance and faith held our family together.

She is a woman of character. Perseverance produces character (Romans 5:3-4). I don’t know a woman more selfless than my mom. Her greatest joy has been being a wife and mother. These desires to pursue Biblical femininity are a testament to the grace of God at work in her life. She has literally invested her entire existence in serving her family. My mother’s life revolves around others, not herself.

God’s love to me is often revealed through my mother’s love. One thing is certain: I don’t deserve a mom as awesome as mine is. Her presence in my life is a substantial testimony to God’s sovereign grace.

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