Judy waved as the car backed out of the driveway. Closing the door she leaned her head against it and heaved a sigh.
“Lord, please look after my girl. I don’t know what’s going on in her life anymore. Bring her back to you Lord, please.”
Returning to the dirty dishes, Judy let her thoughts wander back through the years. Sally had been such a good little girl. Always obedient, always polite and respectful, and she always had the right answer during family Bible study after dinner.
“And then she turned fifteen…” Judy sighed again.
The family had moved just after Sally’s fifteenth birthday, and with a new school and new friends, Sally had started a whole new life. She became sullen and obnoxious, speaking rudely to everyone, making excuses to avoid church and youth group, and refusing to join in family Bible study. In the last three months, Sally had finally consented to attend the young peoples Bible Study on Wednesday nights. Judy suspected it was because of all the boys who went.
Tonight, being Wednesday, Sally had headed out to Bible study, and now Judy couldn’t get out of her head the need to pray. Dropping a handful of cutlery back in the sink, she headed to her bedroom and dropped to her knees by the bed, pouring her heart out to the Lord.
On Sunday morning, Mother’s Day, Judy obediently waited in bed while the boys ‘cooked’ breakfast with Daddy’s help. Sally didn’t make an appearance until it was almost time to leave for church. She was obviously going to join them.
All the Mothers were welcomed at the church door and presented with a small bouquet of flowers by one of the Sunday School children. Jake dashed off to speak to his friends and Billy tugged on Judy’s hand, asking to be allowed to join the other Sunday School kids who were welcoming the mothers.
Judy nodded at him, and turned to speak to Sally. She turned a full circle, searching for her daughter who seemed to have disappeared into the crowd of people moving towards the worship area. Finally, she caught sight of Sally standing with one of the Youth Group leaders. As she watched a smile light up her daughters face, she felt her husband put his arm around her waist. He followed her gaze towards their daughter.
“Hey, I haven’t seen her smile in awhile Judy. I’d almost forgotten how her face lights up when she does.”
As the service began, Judy forced herself to concentrate on the words she was singing and to lay down her burden of concern about Sally.
After the first group of songs, the worship leader sat down, and the Pastor took her place.
“What’s happening?” Judy whispered to her husband. He shook his head, and shrugged his shoulders.
“Good morning all,” began the Pastor. “Welcome to our service everyone, and a special welcome to all the Mothers out there. This morning we have an extra special surprise for one of our mothers.”
A movement in the centre aisle caught Judy’s attention and she turned her head to see Sally walking to the front.
“Come on up Sally, and share your good news with us.” The Pastor stepped aside to let Sally use the microphone.
“Good morning everyone. This morning I wanted you all to share in my surprise for my mother.” Sally smiled and waved in Judy’s direction. “Mom, I’ve been way off track lately, and I’m sorry for the pain and heartache I have caused you, but today I want you to know that everything is okay. Three weeks ago, at our Youth Bible Study, I decided to give my life back to God. Today I want you all to celebrate my new life with me as I get baptised. Mom, could you come and hold my towel for me?”
Judy felt her husband gently lifting her to her feet, and pushing her out of the pew. By the time she reached the front of the church, Sally and the Pastor were already waist deep in the baptistry.
Judy’s eyes swam with tears as she listened to her daughter’s declaration of faith, and watched as the Pastor eased Sally backwards into the water.
As she climbed out of the baptistry Sally’s face was glowing. She stepped into Judy’s open arms and a mother’s aching heart felt the joy of answered prayer.
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