A Mother’s Unrelenting Love
I once read a story of a little boy who had been rescued from a crocodile attack by his mother. The boy was about six years old, and as his mother washed her laundry by the river the boy decided to pass time swimming along the water edge. The river marked the boundary of the family’s farm and mother did her washing every Friday morning without fail. Since mother had cautioned the boy many times about playing in the water, the boy would usually play in the sand building his castles. But on that day events which would last an eternity were to unfold despite the normalcy of the day.
As the boy dug for mud along the banks of the river, he ventured into the water and noticing that mother was too busy with the laundry to watch what he was doing, he ventured into the river. As he swam happily in the waters, suddenly he felt the waters underneath him move in an eerie manner. He felt a movement behind him, turned to look, and screamed as he saw a crocodile lunging up towards him. It was too late to escape its horrible and vicious bite on his leg. As the crocodile pulled the boy into the water the mother jumped, ran and grabbed the little boy’s hands which were raised in terror. While the crocodile pulled the screaming boy by his bleeding leg into the water, the mother pulled him back by the hands. It was the battle between the viciousness of a deadly evil and a mother’s unrelenting love. God intervened and the mother pulled back into her arms the battered body of her child, while the crocodile got away with most of the boy’s left leg.
As the boy recovered in hospital, friends and family would visit and pray with him and his mother who never left his bedside. As they looked in sorrow on his amputated leg, the boy would smile weakly lifting up his bandaged hands and showing them off saying, “Don’t worry about my leg; look at my arms...they are fractured, but they will heal. My mother would not let go of me, even when the crocodile almost had me in the river”. She fought for her child with everything that was in her and the boy lived.
I know of another mother who rescued her son from the crocodile’s mouth. She is my former work colleague. To protect her identity I will call her by the name Anne and her son by the name Peter. Peter is an only child; Anne’s husband died in a car accident when Peter was only a year old. She never remarried. Being a nurse she managed to put her child through school, right up to high school. She also managed to buy herself a three bed-roomed house, together with a small cottage in a very nice quiet neighbourhood. When her son passed his high school with excellent grades she did what every proud parent would do. She sourced for sponsorship and sent him to a university halfway across the world in England. He was twenty years old at that time. There were tears of joy from family and friends as we bid the boy goodbye at the airport.
Peter began his university studies well, with good reports coming to mum on a regular basis. However, in the second year Peter barely emailed or phoned his mother. His mother started to get worried and made some enquiries from some friends who had gone to the same university. What she heard was very disheartening; Peter had befriended bad company and was no longer keen on his studies. At the beginning of the third year Peter dropped out of university. He got a part-time job as a bartender and spent the other hours of his day at his girlfriend’s place.
To cut a long story short, the job came to dead end and months later the girlfriend got tired of his costly drug and booze addiction and threw him out into the streets. When Anne finally managed to raise funds for an air ticket to England, she found Peter at a shelter for the homeless. He had just turned twenty four years old, yet his appearance looked like that of a weary, old and wounded soldier. He was malnourished, deathly pale and quite ill.
We were at the airport to welcome both Anne and Peter back home. The boy was so frail that he could not walk and had to be pushed in a wheelchair right into a waiting ambulance. It took five weeks of hospitalization to get him to a position where he could sit up straight. He was diagnosed positive to the HIV-Aids virus and had a lingering infection of pneumonia. He has been back home now for the past seven months but the journey to recovery is just beginning. Peter lost all mobility; Anne has to feed, bathe him, change and wash his pants when they get soiled. No maid has been willing to take that kind of challenge, so Anne had to resign from her job so she could nurse her son fulltime. She has had to rent out her house and move into the small cottage so the rentals could pay for her upkeep and Peter’s medical bills. She found moving from her room to his hourly all day and all night very stressful, so she simply moved his bed into her bedroom.
The other day she sent me a text message which read, “Mighty woman of God, God is answering our prayers. Peter has started walking with the aid of a walker. So far he has made it to the toilet”. With tears streaming down my eyes, I praised God for that small progress... a twenty four year old ‘child’ learning to walk again!
Hosea 11: (1) The LORD says, "When Israel was a child, I loved him and called him out of Egypt as my son. (2) But the more I called to him, the more he turned away from me. My people sacrificed to Baal; they burned incense to idols. (3) Yet I was the one who taught Israel to walk. I took my people up in my arms, but they did not acknowledge that I took care of them. (4) I drew them to me with affection and love. I picked them up and held them to my cheek; I bent down to them and fed them.
(8) "How can I give you up, Israel? How can I abandon you? Could I ever destroy you as I did Admah, or treat you as I did Zeboiim? My heart will not let me do it! My love for you is too strong.
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