Honoring Mothers for Their Role as Evangelists

Years ago, I spoke about a woman who once fretted over the usefulness of her life. She feared she was wasting her potential being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference in their lives.

At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated. “Is it worth it?”she wondered. “Is there something better that I could be doing with my time?”

It was during one of these moments of questioning that she heard the still small voice of her heavenly Father speak to her heart: “You are a wife and mother because that is what I called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye. But I notice, most of what you give is done without remuneration. But I am your reward.”

“Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. I bless him through your service and honor him through your love. Your children are precious to me, even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise them for me. What you do for them is an offering to me.”

“You may never be in the public spotlight, but your obedience shines as a bright light for me. Continue on. Remember you are my servant. Do all to please me.”

This story was written by Roy Lessin, and has been a blessing to a number of families.

In Atlanta, Ga., there stands a monument to Henry W. Grady, leader of the New South, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, and eloquent orator. When the International Convention of the Y.M.C.A. met in Atlanta, the delegates clasped hands at the closing session of the convention and sang a Christian hymn.

Grady refused to join hands and to sing the hymn. Grady said to the young men, “You notice that I could not join hands with you and sing that Christian hymn. You young men have something I do not have. Years ago in my old home in Athens with my dear mother, I used to have it. The hurly-burly and the business of the world have swept it out of my life. I want to get it back. Please tell me how to get it.”

As best they could, the young men told him what Jesus meant to them. The next day this famous Southerner went to his office and told his associates that he would be away for a week and that he wished no one to know where he was going. “Don’t worry,” he said, “I shall report back here when I get ready.”

He took the first train to the home of his childhood. Reaching home, he said, “Mother, I have come to stay a while. I want to go back to the old days and have you treat me just as you used to when I was a little boy. Make me some little pie-dough cakes and apple turnovers and some ginger horses with raisin eyes.” In the quiet afternoons he would throw himself down on the couch and say, “Mother, tell me Bible stories as you used to, about Joseph and his coat of many colors, about David and his sling, and about Daniel and the lions.” Sometimes he would go to the table and bring the family Bible and say, “Mother, read me again the sweet story of the birth of Christ and of the angels that sang and of the wise men who followed the star. Read me how He went about doing good and how He suffered and died.”

When he would retire at night he would say, “Mother, come and hear me say my goodnight prayers,” and then as many great men have before him, he prayed, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” Then he would say, “Mother, put out the candles in the hall and sing to me as you used to do.” Standing in the hallway, his mother sang the song she loved so well, “I think when I read that sweet story of old, when Jesus was here among men, how He called little children as lambs to His fold, I should like to have been with Him then.”

Grady stayed two weeks in his boyhood home with his mother. Something had happened in his life. He had found the fountain of life everlasting in his mother’s religion. Returning to Atlanta, he found in his desk an invitation from the New England Society of New York City to be the annual speaker.

He went and gave his great oration which thrilled the country from ocean to ocean, “The Old South and the New.” It was the first time that the New South had spoken eloquently since the Civil War, with a message of love and peace and hope and reconciliation.

Christian mothers are the greatest personal evangelists. I don’t know that everyone can go back and do what he did, but mothers are the great evangelists. I am told that it was a true story, but I can not testify to it.

I can testify that my mother was the true evangelist in my life. That is why mothers and wives must continue on. So much depends on your sacrifice; so many generations will be blessed as your reward. Continue On!

Mothers are and should be honored on a weekly basis, not just once or twice a year. I believe it was President Abraham Lincoln who implied that all of his success came because of his mother. It takes more than giving birth to a child, to be a real mother. A great calling, an even greater responsibility.

God bless all mothers. Happy Mothers Day!

Guest columnist Cummings is pastor of Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling and Shiloh Apostolic Temple in Weirton.