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Mother Naomi and son Joshua find joy in serving God together. (MP Photo/Roger Kruse)

By Roger Kruse

Sometimes I marvel at the way my wife readily gives of herself to our adult children, their spouses and our grandchildren. There doesn’t seem to be anything strained about it. In fact, she usually exhibits pure joy in what she does. Her love flows from a good heart, a sincere faith and a giving nature. By contrast, I seem more distracted by chores that need done on our property, ministry related assignments, maintaining my running schedule, and keeping my daily routines intact. I know God made us all different, but my wife’s example helps me to focus more on enjoying people and discovering how to be a blessing to them.

I doubt that my experience is unique. I suspect that for many of us, our moms and our wives reveal much the same. They seem wired to give, to nurture, and to come alongside to help and encourage. Moms often have a special bond with their children that endures.  Grandmothers know how to make their grandchildren feel like one in a million. No wonder we celebrate Mother’s Day!

Recently I met a young man in India named Joshua. Several years ago, his mother Naomi was totally defeated. Her marriage failed and the she was forced to move from her village due to bad circumstances. Life was cruel as she struggled to provide for herself and Joshua. She became so despondent that she decided to end her misery as well as Joshua’s. She bought poison and wrote a suicide letter to village leaders. On the night she intended to carry out her plan, she wept continuously until exhausted, and fell asleep. At 4 a.m. she had a dream. Written on her door were the words “good news.” Naomi awoke and pondered their meaning. That very day a Christian relative came to her house and shared that Jesus was the Good News those words pointed to. The story of God’s love in Christ penetrated her heart, imparting hope and even joy. She removed the images of household gods and put her faith in Jesus. When Joshua came home, he became angry at what his mother had done. However, that night God spoke to him, calling his name three times. He awoke shaken in the depths of his soul, telling his mom, “Jesus is calling me!”  Both mother and son would now begin a new journey of knowing and serving the Lord.  When I went to Joshua and Naomi’s home in March, I was struck by the joy and the commitment that now characterizes their lives. Both have dedicated themselves to sharing the reason for their hope. As a mother and son team, they are reaching out to people around them with compassion and practical help. Their lives have become a source of inspiration and blessing.

I am aware that not everyone has warm and fuzzy memories about his or her mother. Life can become difficult and dysfunctional. In fact, there simply are no perfect moms. Perhaps the message of Naomi and Joshua’s life is that things can and do change. Human failure can provide the soil for new beginnings. Forgiveness paves the way for peace and understanding, a new teamwork. As we remember and give thanks for our moms this Mother’s Day, let us celebrate the blessings we have known. At the same time, let us work to make things even better within our homes!

Roger Kruse smiles at the remembrance of his mother Helen. Her love and commitment to him and his four brothers became a strong and sturdy foundation upon which he has built his life. Her example of hard work, faith and service to others lives on!

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