My mother was a precious person and a lifelong learner. She was not highly educated in formal ways but was a strongly motivated, self-propelled learner. She was like an old-time harvester. She followed many great people who wrote and shared incredible insights, and she picked it up. She had dozens of notebooks full of well-marked articles, and notes written to herself about what she felt God was showing and telling her personally. All of us in the family have one or two of these as keepsakes that really highlight who Mother was.
Here’s one of those articles from an anonymous author. Mom loved this so much and found it so insightful and helpful that she put it on mirrors around the house. She encouraged us children to learn it. You will see why as soon as you read it!
"I love you, Mother," said little John;
Then, forgetting his work, his cap went on.
And he was off to the garden swing,
And left her the water and wood to bring.
"I love you, Mother," said little Nell;
"I love you better than tongue can tell."
Then she teased and pouted full half the day,
Till her mother rejoiced when she went to play.
"I love you, Mother," said little Fran;
"Today I’ll help you all I can;
How glad Iam school doesn't keep!"
So she rocked the baby till it fell asleep.
Then, stepping softly, she took the broom,
And swept the floor and tidied the room.
Busy and happy all day was she,
Helpful and happy as child could be.
"I love you, Mother," again they said,
Three little children going to bed.
How do you think that Mother guessed
Which of them really loved her best?
Mom was teaching us through this poem that the love that matters is far more than words. Love that matters is love that expresses itself in words and actions. Love that truly matters and makes the difference needed is the love that sees the need and steps up to meet it. It is love that feels the pain and moves to relieve it. It is the love that sees the gap and steps up to fill it. The love that Mom wanted us to realize, what she and the rest of the world needs, is not lip-service love. It is love that gets translated into effective and generous action.
Love that matters doesn’t just show up on a special day. It is consistent and dependable. It’s visible and strong on a good day and on a bad day. That kind of love IS. Through the highs and lows, the goods and bads, the tireds and the energized, that love is a constant force. When you go to sleep, it is there. When you get up, it is there. You don’t have to worry. That love is yours.
What a blessed and favored child it is who gets this kind of love from his mother! What a blessing a child is who gives this kind of love back!
The love Mom wanted us to have is still far too rare. It’s easy to buy a card, to make a call, to send a text. But really, real love requires something more from me. If your mother is still living this Mother’s Day, how could you show her love that would really matter? Don’t just save it for today. Express it every day, in every way you can, on the 364 other days too.
Extra tip: This doesn’t just work on moms. Every relationship you have needs love in action, not just pretty words. So does Jesus. Word to the wise.