by Pastor Larry Sorrells, Rockville, Trinity UMC

This Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a short parable about a loving mother with all of you.

The young woman set foot on the path of motherhood. “Is the way long?” she asked. Her angel guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard. You will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”

The young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these early years. She played with her children and made gifts for them along the way. She cared for them, and the sun shone on them, and life was good. The young mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the night came, storms arose, and the path was dark. The children shook with fear and cold, and mother drew them close and covered them. The children said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.” And the mother said, “This is better than the brightness of the day, for my children have learned courage.”

The morning came, and there was a hill ahead. The children climbed and grew weary. But at all times, she said to her children, “Keep going, a little patience, and we’ll be there.” So, the children climbed, and when they reached the top, they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.” That night when she lay down, she looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last. My children have learned strength in the face of hard times. Yesterday they learned courage. Today, they have learned strength.”

The next day, clouds darkened the earth, clouds of war and hatred. The children struggled with it, and the mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds and saw the love of God. This love guided them and brought them beyond the darkness. That night the mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

As the days went on, passing from weeks, months, and into years, the mother grew old. She was weak and bent. But her children were strong and tall and walked with courage. When the way was hard, they helped their mother. When the course was rough, they lifted her. At last, they came to a hill, and golden gates flung open wide.

The mother said, “I have reached the end of my journey. Now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”

The children said, “You will always walk with us, mother, even when you have gone through the gates.” They stood at her side and watched as she went on alone. The gates closed after her, and they said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”

I know for many of you…Mother’s Day is difficult…for some; it’s because children weren’t possible…for others, mom wasn’t always the perfect picture of Christ’s love in your home. Still, for others, myself included, mom, is no longer physically present for us to honor. On our journey in this life, there are few more critical signs than “children at play” and very few individuals that shape our trip more than our mom, who helped us choose the right path. I pray you can become close with this essential person or reminisce on beautiful memories of her. Blessings to you all. Happy Mother’s Day.