A Mother’s Day Baseball Miracle
by Carole Geckle
I love Mother’s Day because it usually involves restaurants, flowers, chocolate, and funny homemade “I love you, Mom” cards. But my favorite Mother’s Day didn’t involve any of the traditional treats. It was all about baseball.
Our youngest son was 12 that year, and his dad and I were grinning and bearing it through his third season in Little League. Jon wasn’t a natural athlete and, like me, tended to be a little chubby. But also like me, he can be incredibly stubborn when he wants something—and he wanted to play baseball. So week in and week out we went to practices and games, rarely having the excitement of seeing him hit a ball, run the bases, or even make a catch in the outfield. But he tried hard, and we were with him at every game, rooting our team on.
That season was particularly challenging. His team was coached by one of those dads who cared much more about winning than about the egos of athletically disinclined 12-year-olds. The coach only played his winners, particularly his own son. Needless to say, Jon rarely left the bench. In fact, I hardly had to wash his uniform. We were all disappointed that year, but none of us more than Jon.
On Mother’s Day Sunday we had a game. It was pretty much business as usual until the end of the ninth inning. Our team was down by one run with two players on base … and our son was up at bat. You could tell by the coach’s face that Jon was the last person on earth he wanted to bat. But somehow there Jon was, poised at home plate with more concentration in every muscle of his body than I had ever seen before. Jon swung at the first two pitches and missed. Coach was about ready to have a stroke. His eyes were bulging and his face was as red as our team’s uniforms.
And then it happened … my Mother’s Day miracle. My son connected bat to ball and sent it soaring into the outfield. Players started to run, parents started to cheer … and I started to cry. Jon’s hit brought home the two runners on base and got him to third. We won the game!
I think my husband and I had the biggest smiles of all as the players—and the coach—lifted Jon up on a sea of “high fives.” When my son was awarded the game ball, he gave it to me. That was my very best Mother’s Day present ever.
Canceled Plans for Mother’s Day
In the past, my focus on Mother’s Day was on myself—the mother of one son and four beautiful adult daughters. That changed a few years ago when I received a call from our youngest daughter, canceling our plans together for Mother’s Day. She said that she just couldn’t have a relationship with her dad and me.
Although our relationship with her had been shaky at times, Henry and I thought that things were improving. In our minds, our last time with this daughter had been positive. Henry talked with our son-in-law who said her comment was a result of “what we had done.” Then our son-in-law added that we were ruining their relationship and that they weren’t going to talk with us until further notice.
My feelings were a mixture of deep hurt, as though I had been stabbed in the heart, and anger. I wanted to call my daughter and give her a piece of my mind, but the Holy Spirit showed me the need to take every thought captive … to wait on the Lord. Thank goodness I prayed and never made that call.
I meditated on James 1:2-4: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Much as I hated it, God clearly revealed that I needed to consider even the situation with my daughter and her husband as joy. I read Matthew 6 and pondered the meaning of verse 15: “If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” I was not only reminded of the countless ways that God has forgiven me, but also of His command to forgive others. Ouch! I didn’t want to hear that.
Although I still wasn’t sure how Henry and I had offended my daughter and son-in-law, I made a conscious decision to forgive them. God began to show me that Mother’s Day, and every day, should be about glorifying Him. His Word taught me how I can honor Him through my thoughts and actions, even in a very difficult situation.
A couple of years ago, as I was going through this process of forgiveness, someone asked me what the perfect Mother’s Day gift would be. I answered, “That my relationship with my youngest daughter would be restored where we could share our lives with one another, like we’ve been able to do in the past.”
Well, last year I received a phone call from this daughter, inviting me to a Mother’s Day celebration. I was not only overjoyed, but also grateful that I had not allowed bitterness to fill my heart. God had not disappointed me as I put my trust in Him and clung to the truth of James 1. Now I now seeing Him answer my prayers for our family.
When my daughter honored me on Mother’s Day 2007, I thanked the Lord for beginning to restore our family … for bringing us all together once again.
A Mother’s Day Tribute
by Sharon Hill
One year at my church on Mother’s Day, several people from different stages of life were asked to tell why their mothers were special to them. I was one of those people.
Although I knew I would be nervous and would probably cry, I felt like it was an honor to publicly esteem my mother. I wanted to tell her in front of our church family what she meant to me, so I was willing to overcome my fears.
Mother is a quieter and more private person than I am, but she is very strong. She’s a woman who loves God first and family second. I’ve watched her turn to God time and time again—when my sister was in a very serious automobile accident … my dad died unexpectedly after nearly 50 years of marriage … and my brother (her only son) died prematurely.
She told me that she couldn’t carry her heartaches and losses alone. She explained that she had asked God to give her strength and had prayed that He would remove fearsome thoughts from her mind. She lived the words of Proverbs 3:5—“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”
I remember a Bible study leader asking one Wednesday night, “Have you ever had a deep loss in your life?” Out of the back corner of the room I heard a familiar voice, “The hardest thing I’ve gone through is losing my son.” And then Mother testified to the way God has provided for her and the strength He has given her.
She helped me turn to the Lord several years ago when I ended a dating relationship. I was heartbroken and had a tough time dealing with it, and I called Mother for comfort. I told her that she was not only my mother, but also my best friend. She shared with me about my paternal grandmother and the overwhelming grief she dealt with when my grandfather passed away. She said that my grandmother prayed all night long for God to take away her grief. Mother said that she was going to pray that for me. And soon after, I began to heal and felt a sense of peace.
When I stood and faced my mother at church that Mother’s Day, she was sitting a few pews in front of me. I told her how much I loved her. It was as though no one else was in the sanctuary that day—just Mother and me. Of course, I was in tears and so was she.
I wiped the tears from my eyes and thanked her for being such a godly mother. I told her how much she’s taught me by her example of unwavering faith. It was such a blessing to publicly share how I felt about her.
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