Your mother is the first friend you ever had. When you came into this great world as an utter stranger, not knowing anyone, never having looked into any face — you found her love waiting for you.
Instantly you had a friend, and…
a bosom to nestle in,
an arm to encircle you,
an eye to watch you,
a hand to minister to your helplessness and need.
Your mother received you eagerly, took you into her deepest heart, and began to live for you.
Grateful for Mother’s Love
You never can know what you owe to your mother. It was a long while before you even knew what she was doing for you. In your helpless infancy, she sheltered you and cared for you with patience and gentleness. She nursed you through your illnesses, your teething, your whooping cough, your measles, and all the other illnesses which infancy is heir to. She walked the floors with you at night, trying to soothe your pains and quiet your bad tempers. And she gave up her days to you, teaching you how to walk, how to talk, how to use your hands, your eyes, your ears — and giving you your first lessons in loving, in praying, and in everything beautiful.
Grateful for Mother’s Works
You do not know, you never can know, all that your mother has done for you. It was not easy, either, for her to do it.
She never complained, for love does not count the cost of its serving and sacrificing — but there was serious cost nevertheless. Some of the wrinkles you now see in her face, are marks left by the toil and care which she gave so freely to you, are marks of her unselfish love! Perhaps she is not so beautiful as she used to be. She may have wrinkles, and a tired look, and seems older, with more gray hair. Not so beautiful? Ah, she is more beautiful because of these wrinkles and traces and furrows. They are love’s handwriting. They are like the soldier’s scars — honorable, because they tell what she has suffered, sacrificed, endured — all for the love of you.
What About This Mother of Yours?
Do you think you appreciate her at her true worth? Do you think you are returning to her in the worthiest way, the love which she has lavished upon you through the years? And do you think you are proving yourself worthy of such unselfishness, such self-forgetfulness, such loving and serving unto the uttermost?
What About the Elderly Mother?
When a mother is old and feeble, or sick, it is very beautiful to see her children ministering to her in sweet love, without thought of cost, without limit of sacrifice, doing all they can to comfort, bless, and brighten her old age. Often this picture is seen. When the children were in their infancy the mother’s hands ministered to them in countless ways. Now they are giving back a little of the love, paying a portion of the debt they owe to her. God must look down with gladness upon such holy scenes.
What About the Lonely Mother?
But not all loving mothers are sick or infirmed. Sometimes they are strong and active — but lonely. Are you good to your mother when she is not an invalid? Some of us wait until our friends are sick before we show them the best that is in our hearts. Just today, a sick woman told me that she had never dreamed she had so many friends, or that they loved her so much, until she fell alarmingly ill and the doctor said she might not recover. Then the love poured out. Everybody she had ever known, came to ask about her, and to express sympathy with her in her suffering, or to offer service.
This was very beautiful. But it would have been better if some of the love had been shown before when she was well and strong, carrying burdens and dispensing good. It would have made life easier and sweeter for her. It would have put into her heart courage for even better and richer serving.
Don’t Wait to Show Your Love
If your mother were to grow very sick tomorrow, there is nothing you would not do for her gladly and cheerfully. She would be most grateful to you, too, for your gentle kindness. But think how much of this ministry of love you might render now, though she is not sick.
For example, you can give her your fullest confidence, and keep up a close and intimate friendship with her. Some young people drift away from their mothers. They do not give her their heart’s confidence as they used to do in their childhood. They hide things from her and might resent her questions when she would know about their companionships, their friendships, their pleasures, their plans of life. It is a great comfort to a good mother, to have her children confide in her, always telling her everything. Why should they not? Surely she has a right to know their most confidential affairs.
Always Your Mother’s Child
The son, now a full-grown man, with heart and hands full, can give his mother no greater joy, than by coming to her for a little confidential talk, just such as he used to have with her when he was a little fellow.
The daughter, now a woman, needs never be afraid to trust her mother with all the interests of her happy life. She needs the mother-counsel quite as much now, as she did when she was a child — and the mother-heart craves the sweet confidence.
We should never cease to be children to our mother. Nothing is more beautiful than such intimacy of children with a mother, even though the children are men and women in mid-life. To the mother, they are always children, and their confidence is always sweet and sacred.
What kind of a child are you to this good mother of yours?
No matter your age, whether you are younger or older, it is all the same. What kind of a child are you to your mother? We make our life beautiful, only when we are true and faithful in all our relations with others. No matter to what eminence we may attain, or to what noble character, there will always be a blot on our record and on our life, as God sees it, if we fail in any of love’s duties to others. To be a complete man or woman in the world, you must be ever a loyal and faithful child to the mother to whom you owe so much.
J.R. Miller, from his book, “Young People’s Problems”
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