A Mother's Love

 It's that time of year again between my mother's birthday and Mother's Day. Although I think a day does not ever pass without thinking of my mother, I especially remember her at this time of year between April 29th and the 2nd Sunday in May. 
But I'm pretty sure she isn't celebrating birthdays anymore!
In recent years I believe I have yearned for my mother's presence, love and counsel more than during the years that she was here. Is that possible?
I so long to say, "Mom, now I know some of what you went through..your lonely hours, your yearning heart, your joys and disappointments. The longer I live, the more I understand what you must have thought and felt and desired and prayed for. Forgive me for sometimes taking you for granted, for not realizing that you really did know my pains and understood my joys. Accept my sincere love and gratitude for all that you did for me. It was priceless."
Indeed, a mother's love is a fiercely strong and wonderfully strange thing. It follows her children the world over and knows no limits to its praise, love and defense of them. Although my mother was "the quiet type", it was a quiet strength that she had. And her strength was found in the Lord.
Thank you, Mom. I love you.   

A Mother's Love
A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.
-Helen Steiner Rice
"For love is as strong as death..." (Song of Solomon 8:6)


In Moments Like These

Every life, now and then, has moments of heartache. Of grief. Of pain. Of concern.

In moments like these, one can only ache and cry out to the Lord...
I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication.
(Psalm 30:8)


Those Who Care

Just seconds after the first explosion rocked the area near the Boston Marathon finish line at about 2:50 p.m., there was a second blast a few blocks away on Boylston Street.
(Credit: Boston Globe)
 Since yesterday, April 15th, the hearts of those who have warm human blood flowing through their veins have grieved, ached and cried over the pain and loss of the many in Boston, Massachusetts who have even greater reason to grieve, ache and cry than we do.

Our minds are numb as we unsuccessfully try to understand the mentality of those who have not warm but cold blood in their veins and, seemingly, only desire to do evil. We do not comprehend such behavior other than that "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer.17:9) 

When I was about five years old I had my first exposure to death. We used to stop by the house of a young couple with their baby girl to give them a ride to church. One day the young mother heated up a pot of water, preparing to give the baby a bath but the one-year-old pulled the pot of boiling water over onto herself and died. My parents thought it best that I go to the funeral. When I walked into the church for the service, I saw the young mother sitting on a bench in the back of the church, as far away from the tiny coffin as she could get. She of course was crying, her head bent over, her shoulders shaking with sobs. Amazing, the details that a five-year-old can remember.

(Credit: Reuters)
During this funeral, the song "Does Jesus Care?" was sung. It probably was not the first time I'd heard it but it is the first time I remember hearing it. Almost every time I hear it or think of the words I remember this incident, one of my very earliest memories.

Does Jesus care in the midst of this tragedy in Boston? Does God care that three lives were snuffed out and that many more are in acute physical pain while their loved ones are in acute emotional and mental pain? Do we care that they are in pain? Oh yes, Jesus does, God does and we do.

And we pray for them because there is little else that we can do and because we know that God answers prayer.

"Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (I Peter 5:7)


In His Hand

Going across town the past six weeks to our new place of ministry, we have about a half-hour drive each way. All of this is within the city so we are faced with the normal hectic, every-man-for-himself traffic, especially on Wednesday nights. Sometimes it is quite the challenge and gives us (as driver and passenger!) some tense moments. We have seen at least two accidents, one which happened right in front of us and the other had obviously taken place just moments before as the ambulance had not yet arrived.

These things have reminded us many times that we have been blessed to have the Lord's protecting hand, safely taking us back and forth through this city. It is not something that we take lightly, realizing that many people suffer daily with the results of traffic accidents.

 If He should see fit to end our earthly life, then we are ready for that. In the meantime, we must be busy for Him while we have opportunity. Our times, our lives, our souls are in His hands.

There is no more secure place to be than there.

"Our times are in Thy hand..." (Psalm 31:15)
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, 
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28)