Hometown

A Mother’s love teaches us many of life’s lessons

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Jim Honeycutt

Chaplain-Baptist Minister

There is a love that stands the test of time. A love that hopes beyond what is seen. A love that when tested is proven strong. A love that withstands all that would dismantle it. A love that is ours without asking.

At 12-years-old, I was given a small guitar for my birthday. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t expensive, it was simple. With joy, my Mother presented it to me. Her love of music was great and the pleasure she found singing melodies she desired to share.

I was captivated by the strum of the strings, the tones I could make, the tunes that arose within in me. I excitedly accepted her offering, for the flower of expression it sprung within me was blossoming. In a short while I had learned the most basic of chords, chords that allowed me to sing the songs I had learned as my family sang together in fellowship. My older sister played the piano wonderfully, and in my young mind I saw myself accomplishing this also.

After a bit of practice, my own melodies began to spring up in me more and more frequently. I didn’t share them with anyone, staying in my room traveling their paths alone. As much joy as they brought, I lacked the confidence to reveal this part of myself to others. One day a friend lent me a small tape recorder to use. 

A song that was working its way through my heart I recorded on an afternoon when no one was at home. Leaving the recorder on my desk I returned to it each day after school, transferring my melodies onto its tape.

On a particular afternoon as I came through the front door, I saw my Mother visiting with her friends, the tape recorder in her lap. A huge smile was on her face as she played the songs I had recorded in secret. Embarrassed at the thought of others hearing my attempts, I became enraged. How could you Mom? Why are doing this? All my immature mind could do was react with offense. I was so mad at her for revealing my recordings I erased the tape and swore I would never play another song for people to hear. Rather than allow the joy the flow of music released in me, I stifled it.

Soon, I lost interest in the guitar with my expressions only coming out when I sang in the youth choir or playing in the band at school. Often in sweet words, my Mother would speak encouragement, telling she didn’t mean to embarrass me, that she was so proud of me she wanted her friends to know what God had gifted me. Because of my stubborn heart and my unwillingness, God placed beyond my grasp my gift of musical expression.

I could play what was written or things others had penned, but my heart’s songs stayed confined, locked away because of my pride. Years would pass and many was the time I picked up someone else’s guitar, but the cords would escape me. My Mother forgave me for my adolescent temper tantrum, choosing to see that God was not finished with my young heart. Her love held tight looking forward to the day I would come to my senses, realizing that I had damned up the flow by stubbornness.

Often, I would be asked to participate in song and as long as it was with a group, I was amiable. Very seldom would I sing before others alone, for my childhood stubbornness always resurfaced. One day, as a much older adult, in my quiet time I read a passage that stated “the giftings and the callings of God are irrevocable. I was brought to my knees as I realized that God had given me this heart song not for myself, but for His Glory. Confessing my sin of pride and the hurt I had caused, God forgave me. The dam that had stopped the flow imploded, releasing years of built-up melodies.

I am still working through the expression of my gift, as I still struggle with the confidence to share them with others. For now, when I release them, they are sung to God in my quiet time. But I know the day is coming when my lack of confidence is overpowered by my love of praising Jesus.

How did my Mother know this day would come? How did she tolerate a stubborn prideful child? How could she be proud of her son that displayed such a defiant attitude?

There is a teaching in The Scripture she held tight, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. Thank you, Lord, for teaching me about your love through my mother.

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