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October 14th, 2009

Story : A Walk In The Rain

A walk in the rain

She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful brown haired, freckled-faced Image of innocence. Her Mom looked like someone from the Walton’s or a moment captured by Norman Rockwell. Not that she was old-fashioned. Her brown hair was ear length with enough curl to appear natural. She had on a pair of tan shorts and light blue knit shirt.

Her sneakers were white with a blue trim. She looked like a Mom. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the tops of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the Earth it has no time to flow down the spout. Drains in the nearby parking lot were filled to capacity and some were blocked so that huge puddles made lakes around parked cars. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the WalMart. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rain fall. I get lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day. Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in. “Mom, let’s run through the rain,” she said.

“What?” Mom asked.

“Let’s run through the rain!” she repeated.

“No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated her statement. “Mom. Let’s run through the rain.”

“We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said.

“No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

“This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?”

“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, “If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!”

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If God lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Mom said. Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few believers who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. Perhaps inspired by their faith and trust. I want to believe that somewhere down the road in life, Mom will find herself reflecting back on moments they spent together, captured like pictures in the scrapbook of her cherished memories.

Maybe when she watches proudly as her daughter graduates. Or as her Daddy walks her down the aisle on her wedding day. She will laugh again. Her heart will beat a little faster. Her smile will tell the world they love each other.

But only two people will share that precious moment when they ran through the rain believing that God would get them through. And Yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under theheaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

October 12th, 2009

Story : Don’t Forget To Smile

Dont Forget To Smile

A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child.

Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky. Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child’s school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly and with each the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile.

When the mother’s car drove up beside the child she lowered the window and called to her.

“What are you doing? Why do you keep stopping?”

The child answered, “I am trying to look pretty, God keeps taking my picture.”

May God bless you today as you face the storms that come your way. And don’t forget to SMILE then.

October 10th, 2009

Eight Lies Of A Mother

Lies of Mother

This story begins when I was a child: I was born poor. Often we hadn’t enough to eat. Whenever we had some food, Mother often gave me her portion of rice. While she was transferring her rice into my bowl, she would say “Eat this rice, son! I’m not hungry.”

This was Mother’s First Lie.

As I grew, Mother gave up her spare time to fish in a river near our house; she hoped that from the fish she caught, she could give me a little bit more nutritious food for my growth. Once she had caught just two fish, she would make fish soup. While I was eating the soup, mother would sit beside me and eat the what was still left on the bone of the fish I had eaten, My heart was touched when I saw it. Once I gave the other fish to her on my chopstick but she immediately refused it and said, “Eat this fish, son! I don’t really like fish.”

This was Mother’s Second Lie.

Then, in order to fund my education, Mother went to a Match Factory to bring home some used matchboxes, which she filled with fresh matchsticks. This helped her get some money to cover our needs. One wintry night I awoke to find Mother filling the matchboxes by candlelight. So I said, “Mother, go to sleep; it’s late: you can continue working tomorrow morning.” Mother smiled and said “Go to sleep, son! I’m not tired.”

This was Mother’s Third Lie.

When I had to sit my Final Examination, Mother accompanied me. After dawn, Mother waited for me for hours in the heat of the sun. When the bell rang, I ran to meet her.. Mother embraced me and poured me a glass of tea that she had prepared in a thermos. The tea was not as strong as my Mother’s love, Seeing Mother covered with perspiration, I at once gave her my glass and asked her to drink too. Mother said “Drink, son! I’m not thirsty!”.

This was Mother’s Fourth Lie.

After Father’s death, Mother had to play the role of a single parent. She held on to her former job; she had to fund our needs alone. Our family’s life was more complicated. We suffered from starvation. Seeing our family’s condition worsening, my kind Uncle who lived near my house came to help us solve our problems big and small. Our other neighbors saw that we were poverty stricken so they often advised my mother to marry again. But Mother refused to remarry saying “I don’t need love.”

This was Mother’s Fifth Lie.

After I had finished my studies and gotten a job, it was time for my old Mother to retire but she carried on going to the market every morning just to sell a few vegetables. I kept sending her money but she was steadfast and even sent the money back to me. She said, “I have enough money.”

That was Mother’s Sixth Lie.

I continued my part-time studies for my Master’s Degree. Funded by the American Corporation for which I worked, I succeeded in my studies. With a big jump in my salary, I decided to bring Mother to enjoy life in America but Mother didn’t want to bother her son; she said to me “I’m not used to high living.”

That was Mother’s Seventh Lie.

In her dotage, Mother was attacked by cancer and had to be hospitalized. Now living far across the ocean, I went home to visit Mother who was bedridden after an operation. Mother tried to smile but I was heartbroken because she was so thin and feeble but Mother said, “Don’t cry, son! I’m not in pain.”

That was Mother’s Eighth Lie.

Telling me this, her eighth lie, she died. YES, MOTHER WAS AN ANGEL!

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M – O – T – H – E – R

“M” is for the Million things she gave me,

“O” means Only that she’s growing old,

“T” is for the Tears she shed to save me,

“H” is for her Heart of gold,

“E” is for her Eyes with love-light shining in them,

“R” means Right, and right she’ll always be.

Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER” a word that means the world to me.

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For those of you who are lucky to be still blessed with your Mom’s presence on Earth, this story is beautiful.

For those who aren’t so blessed, this is even more beautiful.

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