Some of you are avid sports fans, others are just casual viewers, but we’ve all seen it. The camera zooms in after a spectacular play by our sports heros and what do they do and say? With one finger in the air they say, “Hi Mom”! Not “Hi Dad”, not “Hi Sister” but “Hi Mom”. What they are saying is, “Mom, I wouldn’t be here and couldn’t have done it without you.” So it was with my Mom.
I have written about the great impact my dad had on my manhood and ministerial life, but it was mom always working quietly behind the scenes that shaped my character. Like most moms, she was always there working, praying and believing in me.
She raised seven children almost single-handedly. Dad was always on the road as a traveling minister. She was a Proverbs 31 woman who was a homemaker as well as one who had to be employed outside the home.
There are so many memories I have of her, but two things stand out in my mind as I write of her:
Mom picked a lot of cotton as well as worked for many years at Sherman Steam Laundry. Both were hot, sweaty jobs. After completing her work week on Saturday at the laundry, she would take her meager little check and walk to the town square in Sherman making payments on items she had purchased on credit for her children. She was faithful to do this every week. It was her diligence in paying her bills on time that taught me honesty, faithfulness and integrity. She would remind me that it was your name and testimony that was most valuable in life.
She was a pastor’s wife for over fifty years and this was a job within itself. I will never forget the night I surrendered to do God’s will and become a preacher. Dad cried when I told him of my decision. Mom cried as well, but for a different reason. She was concerned about what my wife Anne would be facing as a pastor’s wife. She knew about the loneliness, the hardships, the sometimes scrutiny and rejection of her children, but she accepted it because she knew God’s hand was on my life and she wanted my new bride and me to be happy.
Mom was not an outwardly religious person, but she was a very spiritual woman. It took me years as a minister to understand the difference. While some women are called beyond the duties of their home to a more visible ministry, others, like my mom are always working behind the scenes praying for, encouraging and supporting her family.
She is with the Lord today, and I am quite sure upon her arrival in heaven she tried to slip in quietly and go unnoticed. Mom, thanks for who you were and all you did for your family. We love you!