Monday, May 7, 2012

A Mother’s Love

"Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."  1 John 3:18
Air Fare
I’ve just returned from picking up my mother at the airport.  I have a niece in Indiana who graduated from college last week, and Mother had flown up to Indianapolis to be present at the graduation.  This trip to DFW International was the flip side trip to me taking Mom to the airport last week.
Last Friday, I loaded Mother’s luggage into the trunk of my car at 4:30 in the morning and we headed east toward DFW International.  When we arrived at Terminal D, I parked the car close to the front of the terminal and proceeded to unload her luggage.  She tried to insist to carry her smaller bag, but I stacked it on top of the larger one and off we headed to check her in for her flight.  We checked in electronically.  The little machine printed out her boarding pass and asked for $25.00 extra for the larger bag.  I pulled out my Visa and paid the fee, got my receipt and directed her to the attendant waiting to take her bag.  From there, we walked to the security station; I hugged Mother and told her to call me when she arrived.  We exchanged “I love you’s” and I disappeared in the mass of bodies, making my way back to the car, and on into my week.
Today, I was glad to make my way back to the airport, to Terminal C this time, and wait patiently at baggage claim area 31 for my mother to appear through the glass of the rotating security door.  By the time she arrived, I already had collected her luggage from the carousel and we were ready to depart immediately.  Mother regaled me with the stories of her time with my sister’s family, and her flight back home.  She also marveled at how “they” had charged her a baggage fee for her return flight, but hadn’t for her flight over…forgetting that I had paid it for her.  But I didn’t mind.  This was Mom, and my time with her is worth far above any price that I incurred through the course of getting her to and from the airport.  My parents were and are by no means perfect, but I am old enough now to understand the riches they have given to me through their love and faith.  I count every chance I have to give back to them as a futile attempt to repay the debt I owe for having been raised by loving, Christian, attentive, nurturing, and patient parents.
As a mother hen…
In Matthew 23:37 Jesus is lamenting over the rebellious heart of the city of Jerusalem when he makes a very powerful statement:  “How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings!”  What an image!  As a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings… A mother’s love!  Protecting, sheltering, knowing the perils of the world, and doing all she can to provide a safe place in the midst of the storm.  Warmth and calm. 
Exodus 20:12 commands us: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” Honor…as above, not merely with word or tongue…but in deed and truth.  You know, one of the best ways we can honor our Mother and Father is to love, protect, shelter, comfort, and encourage those around us!  Just as I am eager to repay the love of my Mother and Father back to them, I am prompted to love forward in their honor…because of the love they have given me. 
I know there were times that I didn’t merit my mother’s attention, or patience.  There were no doubt times when she didn’t like me much…nor I her.  But there was never a time when I did not feel loved.  In honor of my mother’s love, I love forward.  Because of the Love of Christ Jesus for me…even when I didn’t deserve it…I love forward.
Lord Jesus, so many in this world do not know a mother’s love…So many more do not know your love.  Let me live and love this day for those persons you place in my path.  Let me be their shelter, their comfort, their encouragement.  Help me to love them as you love them.  Amen.

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