A parable for Moms

For those who still have their Mom, Temple Bailey’s “A Little Parable for Mothers” is beautiful. For those who do not, it is even more beautiful:

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is the way long?” she asked. And her guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard. You will be old before you reach the end. But the end will be better than the beginning.”

The young mother was happy. She would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers along the way. The sun shone on them and life was good, and the young mother sighed, “Nothing will ever be better than this.”

Then night came, and a storm raged, and the path was dark. The children shook with fear. But the mother drew them close, and they said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near.” And the mother said, “This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage.”

Morning came, and there was a hill ahead. The children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but she said, “A little patience and we are there.” So they climbed and reaching the top they said, “Mother, we could not have done it without you.” And the mother said, “This day is better than the last, for I have given my children strength.”

The next day came dark clouds of war and hate and evil and the children stumbled and the mother said, “Lift up your eyes to the light.” They did, and it brought them beyond the darkness. That night the mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

The days went on, and the weeks, the months and years and the mother grew old and became little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough they lifted her, and gave her their strength, just as she had given them hers.

At last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And the mother said: “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.” And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and 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.”

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. I hope you will be in church—with your mother if possible, to give thanks for her life, her love and her selfless devotion.

Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he served as senior minister for 23 years. He writes a column for several newspapers.

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2010-05-06 digital edition

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