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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)

TITLE: Small Packages of Loving Service
By Deric Hutson


I woke to my alarm clock and then the gentle prodding of my mother’s voice, slid my feet from my bed onto the clean floor of my bedroom, pulled a clean towel from the closet, took a shower in a clean tub, brushed my teeth in a clean sink, and slipped into the clean freshly pressed clothes found neatly folded in the drawers of my dresser. And so began my morning each day of high school. Not once did I consider how my life remained so remarkably clean. That is not until one morning, about a week into my college years, when I woke to my alarm clock, the gentle prodding voice noticeably absent, slid my feet from my bed into the empty pizza box from last night, pulled a soured towel from the floor, took a shower in a muddied tub, brushed my teeth in a hairy sink, and slipped back into the clothes that I’d worn yesterday.

The acts of loving service are concealed in small seemingly insignificant often unnoticed packages. I remember some of them in my house growing up, not just in the clean things of my existence, but in so many other selfless ways. As a child lying sick in my bed at night, a wakeful hand tickled my head so that I could sleep through the pain. As an awkward pre-teen coming home with embarrassment from the cruel things kids will say, money saved for something important was pulled from a purse wallet and spent on new clothes because a son’s self-esteem was more important. As a high school senior suffering the hurt of a breakup, a lovingly packed paper-bag lunch waited on the kitchen counter in the morning with a note of encouragement enclosed because things weren’t going just right. Small seemingly insignificant packages of loving service, many more of which I’m sure went unnoticed.

My dad is a preacher. Each Sunday he preached powerful lessons from the pulpit most of which I’ve forgotten. What stays indelibly marked on my heart are the lessons I’ve learned in observing my mom in the thankless art of motherhood. A gentle touch. A giving spirit. An encouraging word.

She’s spent her entire life in the mundane service of her family enjoying the performance of menial tasks no one should enjoy performing. And in all those years, I never heard a complaint. This side of eternity, I suspect she’ll never understand the lasting impression she’s made on her children and thus the impact on Christ’s church. Small seemingly insignificant packages of loving service.

Jesus says, “…whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” Mark 10:43-45. My mother understood that. And as a result, maybe one day, I will too.

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This article has been read 655 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight05/09/05
Well written,beautiful tribute!
dub W05/09/05
A good message. Wishing you the best.
Madonna Hooper05/09/05
I like the title and the idea of love coming in small packages like gifts. Good analogy.
donna robinson05/11/05
I read this from your view, feeling the "take for granted" in the beginning then growing into recognition as to what mother's love encompasses. By the end I could feel the gentleness in your heart and the awe you have for someone who could give so much in the name of "love". Heartfelt piece
sandra jenkins05/12/05
Your article was excellently written Grace to you in all your endeavors.