Written by: Brenda L. Yoder, MA
You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
I watched in the stands as my son’s mouth spewed blood and he walked off the court. I sat there wondering what his injuries were, knowing I couldn’t follow Coach into the locker room. His father sat calm beside me, the male code dictating my reactive heart. My six-foot-three little boy was hurt. There was nothing I could do but sit and wait. So I sat and waited as years flooded my mind.
The day, at age five, he fell off the John Deere Gator onto the road and had a concussion. The day, at twenty one months, he fell down a full flight of wooden stairs to the basement. The day, at six months old, he fell off a changing table at McDonald’s, four hours away from home, onto a concrete floor when I was traveling alone and didn’t have a cell phone. A call from a pay phone to our family doctor instructed me to check his eyes as we traveled. I prayed.
Sitting in the bleachers, I knew they’d come get me if there was serious damage. I sat there knowing it wasn’t my job to console him anymore. I sat there knowing the angst a mother feels watching her boy become a man while my heart stayed the same. I sat.
I woke up this day with his sister on my mind. She was returning to her East Coast University from Zacapa, Guatemala, where she’s spent two weeks translating for medical teams and ministering to orphans who stole her heart this summer. Since she came home the first time, part of her heart has remained in the mountains of this remote village. I knew saying good bye the second time would not be any easier.
I prayed for her and my heart wept. As I looked at her pictures posted online, memories flooded my mind. The days she would sit with dolls around her while she read them stories. The days she hovered over her brothers, reading them stories, teaching and nurturing them. How I wanted to be at the airport, eleven hours away, to welcome her home. As I tried to post my own “status,” nothing but tears could express my heart. So, in tears, I sat.
In between these events, I watched two basketball games of another son. I saw tears he fought back as Coach pulled him aside. I frowned. I came home to a son who was folding clothes in neatly organized piles, folded the best way a sixth-grade-boy can. I smiled.
By the end of the day, it was reported the injured boy had a tooth break through the skin underneath his lip. Doc and Coach super-glued it in the locker room. At midnight, daughter texted soon after landing. “What happened to Brother?” were her first words, her first concern. As I lay in my bed, my heart poured out the emotions of the day. In the dark I prayed with tears rolling down my cheeks, just as they are now.
Because no matter how young or old, a mother’s heart does not change.
It just always feels this way.
Dear Father, thank you for creating mothers with a heart full of emotions. Thank you for the small moments you give us each day, even when we take them for granted. Thank you for the wisdom you give us throughout the lives of our children to do what is best in the moment, even if it’s only tears. Help us to embrace each moment before it becomes a memory. Thank you, Lord, for understanding and seeing every tear. Amen.
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