Let me just get this out of the way to start with … I don’t have a good track record with the 10 Commandments. I haven’t broken ALL of them. I don’t think I ever coveted my neighbor’s donkey, and by the grace of God I’ve never killed anybody, but that’s about it. As for the rest of them, well, I’m afraid I’ll be hiding behind Jesus when my judgment time comes.
While I know I’ve been washed clean of my prodigal past, there is one broken commandment that still weighs heavy on my heart … honor thy father and mother. I managed to break that commandant in as many ways as you can imagine it might be broken.
Growing up with my mom was an adventure. Mom wasn’t the stay-at-home type. She worked for Sears and Roebuck most of my childhood. She took care of her children, her family, but she didn’t necessarily follow anybody else’s template of how that should be done. Mom made up her own rules, both in parenting and in life. She did things her way, and we did things her way too.
I resented that. I resented that Mom wasn’t like any of the perfect TV moms that graced the situation comedies. I resented that she wasn’t like my friend’s mothers who stayed at home. I resented that my mom didn’t do things like the other mothers I knew. And as I grew older, and trouble began to find me, it was easy to blame my parents, especially my mom, for my troubles.
No, Mom wasn’t like other mothers I knew, but not a single one of those other mother’s were like Elizabeth Spencer either. It has taken me most of my adult life to realize that my dear mom was exactly like God made her to be. HE made my Mom just like HE wanted her to be, to suit HIS plan and purpose. God had other plans for Elizabeth Spencer besides being the perfect mom, but despite that, she loved me very much and was the best mom she knew how to be.
God made Elizabeth Spencer an irrepressible, larger-than-life, force of nature. An occasionally short-tempered force of nature that didn’t handle stupid very well, and, unfortunately, I spent a lot of my childhood being exactly that. Sorry, Mom.
As I write this, I’m remembering my mom and the last month of her life spent in the hospital. That force of nature God made had a human body that slowly wound down to a halt. Don’t be like me and take too long to realize that the loved ones in your life, while maybe not being as perfect as you want them to be, are, nevertheless, exactly like God made them to be. Don’t take too long to honestly tell a loved one how much they mean to you. Don’t take too long to say “I love you.”
I love you, Mom, I love you so very much.
(Photo courtesy of microsoft office.)
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