“BLESS YOU, MOM!”

Today is my Mom’s birthday.

So, as a partial expression of my love for her, I want to excerpt a portion from a message I preached on Mother’s Day, 13 May 2001.

The message is from Proverbs 31.28, “Her children rise up and call her ‘blessed’; her husband also, and praises her…” I titled that message, “Bless You, MOM!”

“Motherhood is a bond created by God between a mother and the children born to her. God created and made us to love, to think, to feel this way toward our mother. It is a bond forged by our literal physical connection to each other.

Let me tell you just a little of what my Mom did for me…

MOM carried me in her own body for almost a whole year and suffered all the inconveniences of pregnancy…

MOM delivered me into the world through her own pain and discomfort…

MOM nursed me and fed me…

MOM cared for me when I couldn’t take care of myself…

MOM, especially, re-arranged her whole life for the whole rest of her life around her love, care, and concern for her children…

MOM taught us to know and love God and to love each other…

MOM instructed us in respect, manners, and right ways of living…

MOM praised us when we did right (which was every now and then) – and disciplined us and corrected us when we disobeyed and did wrong (which was more often than not)…

MOM counseled, comforted, and consoled us in our injuries and hurts…

MOM worried, even when I didn’t think she had to – but she always told me: “I am your Mother … it is my prerogative to worry!”

When I was only 20 years old, I travelled to West Virginia from North Carolina every weekend to preach in a church in Charleston WV. I would leave work on Saturday afternoon and drive 4 ½ hours to Charleston to preach on Sunday. I would arrive Saturday night, stay overnight, preach Sunday morning and then again Sunday afternoon; then drive home again and get home usually around midnight. And my drive home at night was along winding state roads through WV and VA and finally into NC. And Mom would stay awake and sometimes worry until I got home.

Mother never retires from Motherhood.

Mother will always be Mother.

MOM can console, sympathize, and comfort like no one can … and she did – through the fevers, coughs, upset stomachs, vomiting, diarrhea, earaches, mumps, chicken pox, measles, and anything and everything else that afflicts her children. I still have vivid memories of Mom smearing three children at one time with a paste made out of corn starch, covering our itchy measles sores to try to give us some relief – staying up all night to do so.

Dad loved us – but he couldn’t touch our feelings like MOM could … and did.

When I was probably 12 years old or so, I was walking after school down to a bookstore that Dad had opened up down in the small town East Rainelle where we lived. The school bus passed and Robert Caudill who was one of the school bullies leaned out the window of the bus and spit snuff spit all over the hand-me-down jacket I was wearing. I liked that jacket – it was my favorite jacket – and Robert Caudill just spit all over it. He didn’t injure me physically, but, he sure did terribly hurt my feelings!

I walked into the little bookstore and Dad was there, working on a print job in the back of the store – another sideline he had. I was fighting back the tears. I told Dad that Robert Caudill had spit on me. Dad was the realist – the pragmatist. (Just a few years previous to this, Dad had spent five years of his young life fighting Nazis in Europe, so he knew all about mean people.) He said, “Son, I’m sorry. Things like that happen. There are all kinds of people in the world and some of them … well, we just have to put up with them.” (That’s probably what I would tell my son, also.)

But, that’s not what I wanted to hear. I WANTED SOME SYMPATHY!

So, Mom was there also. She wasn’t always there, but she was that day. I blubbered out, “MOM, ROBERT CAUDILL SPIT SNUFF SPIT ON MY FAVORITE JACKET!” Mom gave me what I wanted … and maybe needed. She just hugged me to herself in her arms, and said, “Well, David, Robert probably doesn’t have a good home. That may be one of the reasons he’s so mean. But, WE LOVE YOU … AND I’LL WASH YOUR JACKET, AND IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT!”

You know what? it was! And, you know what else? it still is.

My MOM is worth more than all the world to me.

‘BLESS YOU, MOM!’”

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