Well … I had … sort of … promised … to post a work honoring “Mothers” from our book … which, by the way, I had, sort of, promised while I was in the middle of writing my next post, which, ironically, involved the television series, “All in the Family.”
Then … I felt led to share with you a story which I’ve had “on file” for several years … so long, in fact, that it isn’t even included in my “Shared Email” collection. This is a story which I had been sent, by email, way before I began the online ministry. I’ve had it stored “in the files” for years, and, honestly, before today, haven’t even thought about it for a long time. But, I am thinking about it now. Thinking about the love and sacrifice it represents. When I think of Jesus, I think about “love and sacrifice.”
When I think about Mama … which I do so often … I think about love and sacrifice.
I am thinking that, right now, instead of being obedient to my own will, my own plans … even in the writing of the next post … I am being obedient to the Spirit’s will, not mine … I am thinking … yes, I am … I am thinking that I wished I had been more obedient to Mama … had recognized all of the sacrifices she made …
Please allow me to include this from the book:
“The first gift, and the best gift that God gives a child is a loving, Godly mother. The first view of Jesus that a child receives is through her loving care.”
It was such a thrill for me to learn that Mama had shared this story with her Sunday School Class. It meant that much to her. How precious does that make this story now! It is a story of love … family love … sacrifice … family sacrifice … I have always called this story “Ears,” and that is the name which Mama called it.
“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked.
When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears.
Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.
When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.
He blurted out the tragedy: “A boy, a big boy… called me a freak.”
He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. “But you might mingle with other young people,” his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.
The boy’s father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? “I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,” the doctor decided.
Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by.
Then, “You are going to the hospital, Son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it’s a secret,” said the father.
The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later he married and entered the diplomatic service.
“But I must know!” He urged his father, “Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him.”
“I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but the agreement was that you are not to know … not yet.”
The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come … one of the darkest days that a son must endure. He stood with his father over his mother’s casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother — had no outer ears.
“Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” he whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought Mother less beautiful, did they?”
Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what that can be seen, but what that cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what that is done but not known.