Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)
- TITLE: White Lace Protection
By Angela Ranson
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I remember the day my mother gave me a white lace umbrella. It was small enough to fit into my palm and had a simple white plastic handle. It was what she called a "pre-gift", meant to congratulate me for my speech, and she gave it to me before the final competition because she said it didn't matter if I won or lost. When she said that, I smiled with the superiority of a typical teenager. I accepted the umbrella without pointing out that I already knew I was going to win. After all, I had been competing for six years. My biggest competitors had already graduated. I had a great speech - and public speaking was one of my personal strengths. It was only logical that victory was within my grasp.
My mother, with her God-given gift of wisdom and discernment, knew better. She tried to be my umbrella that day, and protect me from the storm that was to come. I remember the gentle pitter-patter of her words above me, pointing out that God knew best, that He wanted only good things for me, and that I had to learn to rely on Him. I wish now that I had listened; that I had accepted that umbrella of protection and humbled myself as I faced the storm. But instead I left the umbrella behind and dived into the rain.
It's no surprise that I got drenched. I didn't even place, and such was my belief in logic that I sat dumbfounded for an hour after the competition, convinced that they had made a mistake and would come back to give me my prize. When the last competitor had left and the janitors turned off the lights, I had to admit that they wouldn't. I had to drag myself home through the muck of humiliation and betrayal, soaked with sorrow. Mum came home from work and comforted as only mothers can do. Then she went to make a cup of tea and told me to open my little lace umbrella. Numb with cold, lost in foggy confusion, I did. There within that bit of protection was a note:
All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.*
I'm proud of you no matter what happens today.
That white lace umbrella suddenly grew into a vast canopy of comfort. With that protection, given in advance by a wise mother, I managed to face the storm again, and I learned to listen to the raindrops to see what messages God was trying to tell me. I've kept it ever since, and even when I sit alone and wonder how I will survive the latest storm, I know that I'm protected. My mother's umbrella has been withdrawn now, but it's because of her that I know and understand the Great Protector, and live my life under His umbrella of unending love.
*Romans 8:28a NIV
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