Opinion

FAITH TODAY: No love like a mother’s love

By Rev. Willem H. van de Wall

Cooke’s Presbyterian Church

 

On a cold Christmas Eve in 1952, when Korea was in the turmoil of civil war, one young woman struggled along a village street, obviously soon to deliver a child. She pleaded with passersby, “Help me! Please. My baby.”

No one paid any attention to her. A middle-aged couple walked by. The wife pushed away the young mother and sneered, “Where’s the father?  Where’s your American man now?”  The couple laughed and went on.

The young woman almost doubled up from a contraction as she watched them go. “Please . . .” she begged. She had heard of a missionary living nearby who might help her. Hurriedly, she began walking to that village. If only he would help her baby.

Shivering and in pain, she struggled over the frozen countryside. But the night was so cold. Snow began to fall. Realizing that the time was near to deliver her baby, she took shelter under a bridge. There, alone, her baby was born on Christmas Eve.

Worried about her newborn son, she took off her own clothes, wrapped them around the baby and held him close in the warm circle of her arms.  The next day, the missionary braved the new snow to deliver Christmas packages. As he walked along, he heard the cry of a baby. He followed the sound to a bridge. Under it, he found a young mother frozen to death, still clutching her crying newborn son.  The missionary tenderly lifted the baby out of her arms.

When the boy was 10 years old, his now adoptive father told him the story of his mother’s death on Christmas Eve. The young boy cried and whispered as he prayed to thank God for his mother’s love when she sacrificed her life for him.

The next Christmas Eve the boy climbed through his bedroom window and wandered off in the snow. Fortunately his father could follow his footprints in the fresh snow. It led to the bridge where the young woman sacrificed her life for her son. When the father found him, he was just in time to hear his son say through chattering teeth, “Mother, were you this cold for me?”

Sunday is Mother’s Day and as mother’s will receive flowers and gifts, they will represent  mothers of all times and places for their sacrifices and love.  There will be stories shared of when mothers made the difference in their families. In 2 Timothy 1: 5 St. Paul mentioned two mothers who made a difference: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”

If it wasn’t for Lois who laid the foundation for Eunice, she would not have been able to lay the foundation for Timothy. We don’t read much more in the Bible about Timothy’s mother and grandmother, but we can appreciate how gratified they must have been when Timothy set out to do the work of an Evangelist! And after Timothy this world has seen thousands of people who lived their dreams because there was a mother who believed in them and encouraged them.

But on Mothers Day, mothers are challenged to continue their good work. What are the special qualities children need to learn from their mothers? Christian values, respect, love and compassion. If those qualities are handed down to the next generation, what a huge difference will we see in our world. In each community of our country and around the world we acknowledge all those mothers who made a difference. Happy Mother’s Day! We appreciate you all.

• Rev. Willem H. van de Wall is the minister of Cooke’s Presbyterian Church and can be reached at 604-792-2154 or rev.cookes@gmail.com.

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