Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)
TITLE: The Real Mother's Gift
By Teresa Hollums
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Knock, Knock--and the door to the home with the funeral wreathe opened.
“Hello, there, I’m Ann Jones, and I want to give you this homemade bread I made today and tell you how sorry I am about your precious son’s death.”
The mother’s tear-stained face was evident from her crying. The gray-haired visitor simply hugged her for a moment. “I know how you must hurt. You see, I also lost a wonderful grown son in his prime, too.” And the older mother hugged the younger one again as the younger one became limp with yet another deeply grieving sob.
“I can’t stay long with it being Thanksgiving and all and I know you have your family, too. It will be especially hard to give Thanksgiving, I am sure.”
“Yes, yes,” sobbed the younger mother, “I am so sorry but I have to confess that I have been so angry with God. Actually, I’ve been angry for 7 years since the horrible accident that turned my son into a special education student instead of my perfectly normal son.”
“I know. You must know that God let’s us be angry and I was terribly angry, too, and still at times just ache. For a long time I was ashamed of my feeling that way, too, but now I know God still loves me. He reminded me one time during one of my devotional quiet times that my son was first and always his. God only gave him to me as a blessing for just a short while, but God is still God and we must just still trust he continues to be a great and good God who knows best for both our loved one and ourselves.”
The younger mother seemed to only party understand as she was still floundering in her horrible sea of self-pity and grief.
Ann had been the former teacher of both the boy who had died so unexpectedly and of the boy’s half sister, Hannah. She asked the younger mother. “Is Hannah here, too? Could I also hug Hannah?” asked Ann.
“Of course,” replied the mother, “Hannah, Mrs. Jones is here to see you, too,”
“Oh, Hannah, I am so sorry about your step-brother’s death. I know you loved him very much.” Ann knew that this was the grown woman who had given up a real life of her own in both the business world and in her own private world of possibly finding a husband. Ann knew this beautiful young woman had given such a great gift of compassion and love to her now mentally handicapped brother. It was an all-encompassing gift that she had sacrificed acceptance of several proposals of marriage and job advancement.
“Mrs., Jones, how precious of you to come. I am quite sure my brother would be so happy to know you came. You know, he loved you, too.”
“Yes, I know, Hannah. The purest love seems to come from the sweetest of the mentally damaged.”
“Yes, I know very well.” Hannah nodded in quiet Christian strength, “But Mrs. Jones, I am at such a loss—I will so deeply miss my sweet little brother. He taught me so much about loving and fighting to live. He became such a blessing to so many people to help us all grow.”
Hannah quietly cried in her arms as Ann continued, “Oh, Hannah, please just make a new life for yourself. You are so very sweet, and I am sure your brother wouldn’t want you unhappy. He knew what sacrifice and great gift of yourself you gave for him. Then, pulling Hannah closer to her, Ann whispered with heartfelt warmth the message God had told her to convey to her, “There is no doubt in my mind as to who the real mother to Justin really was.”
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