She loved it! The deep blue four-inch vase sat in her glass cabinet for thirty years until her death. I’m convinced that she loved it more every year she lived. She didn’t have to say much about it. Just that fact that it sat there among other valuables and was dusted with cherished thoughts was enough. You could see mom having good memories.
I remember when I bought that blue vase for mom. I was on a trip with a school group when we stopped at a truck stop. There on the shelf was the blue vase, and in my pocket was some of my very own money. I’m not sure, as a grade-school boy, that I had bought anything costing three dollars on my own before, but I didn’t hesitate. I really wanted to buy it for mom.
When mother died, I took the vase and put it in my own cabinet. It represents the unselfish, encouraging nature of my mother. She was always like that—making out that you were so special. She always told us that the four children were equally loved and appreciated, but I knew she loved me the most. We all thought that about ourselves.
Selfish moms have it hard. They must struggle daily with the demands of their calling. But thankfully most moms have a generous, self-sacrificing nature for their children. It is not to be despised. If it is once a day her selflessness is called on, it is twenty times a day. And if it is twenty, it is 150,000 times in the twenty or so years while the children are being raised. And that’s just for starters.
Moms must be professional givers. They give their precious time, skills, energy, encouragement, and love unstintingly. It takes Christ in the woman to do that well.
I know that a lot of sinful stuff is hidden to the eyes of our children. Surely my parents weren’t perfect either. But they did seem perfect to me. It’s good of God to keep kids in the dark about how awful parents are. But, for the life of me, I think my mom really was special—mostly because she was so full of Christ.
“Let her works praise her in the gates,” the Proverb states. Indeed. The goodness of a Christ-filled woman is tangible, seen in a myriad of acts of love for her kids.
Why does she do them?
Part of the reason is what is called “common grace.” God graciously puts familial love in the hearts of all mothers. Society is better because of it. But add Christ to that, and you have something far richer.
Only a Christian mom can love that child “for Christ’s sake,” and “as unto the Lord.” Only a Christian mom can show her child what it means to be a true believer in Christ. Only a Christian mom can pray effectively for her child. Only a Christian mom can teach her children the truth about Jesus. Only a Christian mom can teach her kids what marriage is all about, even when times are difficult. And only a Christian mom can die as a lover of Christ, contentedly anticipating eternity in the house of her heavenly father.
You young men, marry a truly Christian woman. And children, thank God for the love God has had for you that he put you in a home with such a mother. Fathers, cherish the mother of your children who lives so unselfishly. What beauty is there; what nobility of character; what Christlikeness!
The blue vase reminds me of her. Perhaps like no other item in our home. And I’m sure that the porcelain skunk with the bushy tail reminds my brother of mom also. The skunk rested, tail in the air, next to the blue vase in my mother’s cabinet. But now it’s in my brother’s house. As with the vase, it was an early token of my brother’s affection.
Skunks and truck stop vases are the stuff of love in a child’s mind, but cherishing skunks and vases is a mother’s special talent. May God bless them for it.