Mother's Day

by Jeff Ingram on May 13th, 2013

Sudden Wonder
Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 

I am aware today, on Mother’s Day, that there are those who are struggling. Some may have had a bad mom, lost a mom, never known their mom or are maybe even mourning the loss of motherhood. For them, today may be a bitter day, and I am sorry. That is not my story.

Most everything I know about relationship, I learned from my mother.

Mom hugged me goodbye every day before school, right before she fixed my hair. She would hug me when I got home as well. She read somewhere that everyone needed eight hugs a day and she believed it.

Every night I returned from a date she would be there, sitting on the couch reading her Bible. There was a time I thought it was a grand plan to make me feel guilty if I had been up to something, but I think the reality was she cared enough about me to be awake when I got home, and cared enough about her God to spend time with him, until I arrived.

One such evening a friend of mine came to pick me up to go to a party. She was driving her family’s giant blue station wagon, the kind with the rear facing back seat. She pulled into the driveway and I hopped in the car. I can’t remember for sure, but if I wasn’t driving, she was probably barely 16 and I was still jealous.

Our neighbor was the kind of lady who had her sewing table at her second story window because, “it had the best light.” It also gave her the best view of the neighborhood. She had also parked her car directly behind our driveway across the street.

Apparently she was “sewing” when my friend tried, over and over, to back her land yacht out of our driveway, trying to avoid the thoughtful neighbor’s car. Eventually, we sped off happily, on our way to fill up her car with 28 more friends.

Later in the week my mom came to me and our conversation went something like this,
Mom: Did you guys hit Mrs. ‘So and So’ car the other night?
Me: What?
Mom: When you backed out, did you hit it?
Me: What?
Mom: Mrs. ‘So and So’ wants to know who was driving the car the other night so she can contact her. She believes you guys bumped her car when while backing up.

Of course I was indignant. We walked over to the car and mom showed me a little ding in the car door. With all of the forensic knowledge I had acquired at 15 I said, “Someone’s car door hit that in a parking lot. Her bumper couldn’t have made that mark. There was no way we hit it, I would have felt it.” Mom just said, “OK” and we walked away.

When I pushed her on what she was going to do Mom said, “Write her a check.”
“What?” (I had a great vocabulary back then)

Mom: Well, you said you didn’t hit it, so it wouldn’t be fair to give her your friend’s name. Mrs. ‘So and So’ believes you hit the car so we need to pay for its repair.
I was furious. The injustice drove me crazy. Why should we have to pay for a ding in the door of a grouchy old woman when it wasn’t our fault? Mom’s reply,

“The relationship is more important.”

The world would be a much better place if we remembered those five simple words. Life isn’t about cars, or getting my way or sometimes even “justice.” It’s about relationship. My mom taught me that. And on this Mother’s Day I pray I will never forget it.

Jeffrey Ingram is a missionary for HCJB World Radio and the son of Jeannette Ingram, the woman in whose honor Gracious Goodbyes was founded.

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