So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Thought for the Day: Show Christ’s love to others
I am a mother! I am a mother of two! I am a mother of two precious boys who have created something in me that is so very special. But, I have sometimes fallen short of being the mother I should be. Today, I read a devotional about a caregiver that reminded me of my own mother and how she worked with my two brothers, stricken with Muscular Dystrophy. And, how I as a sister sometimes fell short in helping my brothers with their needs.
My mother was amazing! I have written about her before, but she was so amazing she deserves more words of praise. My sweet mama, Mary Jane Henderson, grew up in a small town in West Tennessee to two parents who adored her. They were an older couple and she was “the apple of their eyes.” Spoiled a bit, I am sure, but grew up with a kind and gentle spirit.
That spirit, I believe, is why God made her the mama of my brothers. God knew that she was perfect. She was the perfect person to take care of two boys who would be handicapped in wheelchairs from the time they turned 7-8 years old. As I remember the story, I understand that the doctor shared with my parents that the boys would probably need to be placed in a home at some point because it would be impossible for my parents to take care of them. With that statement, my mama made the promise to take care of my brothers in a way that only Mary Jane could do. And she did! For twenty-five years she did just that. She took care of their needs of feeding them, turning them in their beds at night, lifting them into their wheelchairs to take them to the bathroom, managing to put them in the bathtub for their baths, feeding them when they couldn’t feed themselves, driving them to public school where friends took care of them through the day, taking them to college when each son majored in different areas and met in different buildings, taking notes for them in class when they couldn’t do it themselves, and crying for them when they were hurting. The biggest thing she did was to make sure life was fulfilling for them including taking them on trips each summer and letting them participate in interests in school. She was amazing.
I remember doing a lot for my brothers as well, but I know I didn’t do as well as I probably should have. I did a lot, as a sister would do, but looking back I realize that I did not always do it with the spirit I should have. I remember feeling at times tired of the “Donna, could you get this for me?” Why was I not like my mother, who was always ready to jump up and help? I don’t know why, but I do know that I had a perfect example of someone living the Christ-life in my mother.
Now I look at myself and realize that God gave me children with needs just like my brothers, but without the wheelchairs. I know I have not been that extraordinary mother as my mama was to my brothers and to me. Where have I fallen short? I have fallen short in always showing Christ’s love through my actions. I have fallen short in giving the children what they need when they needed it. And, I have fallen short in living the life with my children in the way my mother exampled life to me. Last night, my youngest said, “Mama, you are always so nice and loving to me”. That was a feel good moment and one that made me feel that maybe I, without knowing it, had become a tiny bit like my mother. Today, and everyday, I promise (as my mother promised) to be the mother my children need.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for memories and thank you for placing examples of You in front of us each day. Thank you for loving parents who showed us how to show love to others. God, you see us, you know us, and you love us. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Parents of Special Needs Children