I wept at church this morning. My family and MPACT brothers were sitting in the third row as the worship team began playing. A lovely lady was sitting in front of us by herself. She was dressed so nicely and her neck length hairdo was styled perfectly. She had an empty seat next to her. As we rose when the music started, I noticed the lady looking backwards as she was searching for someone. We sang an entire song and she kept scanning the back of the sanctuary. As the band kicked in the second worship song, I noticed the lady put her hand to her chest, her mouth opened and her eyes widened and got misty, she reached out and hugged her beautiful daughter as she approached her saved seat. They embraced for a least a minute and stared into each other’s eyes. They then turned to the stage, held hands and worshipped together. I smiled and wept seeing a mother’s love. You could tell how thrilled she was, how proud she was and how passionately she loved her child. The timing for me was perfect as I was a bit down emotionally from laying my own mother to rest only 5 days prior.
The love a mother has for her child is one of the most inspiring things anyone will ever see. Watching them as I worshipped took me back to when I was a child and my mother encouraged me to sing at my first church service in the ‘big’ sanctuary. I re-lived so many amazing memories of my mom during the next two songs that I couldn’t hold back the tears of joy. I needed that cry to celebrate her memory in my heart.
Seems, as my family has been coming to grips with the death of my mother, the Lord is placing some amazing moms into my life. Donna and I got a call about a dire situation from a friend of ours about two weeks before my mom passed away into Jesus’ arms. Her name is Michelle. Her daughter, Caroline, had just been diagnosed with cancer and was in the hospital and very sick. Caroline is 31 and has a 6-year-old son. She’s a single mom that works extremely hard caring for him. At that time, I had never met Caroline. But I knew she must be amazing, because of how amazing her mother is.
I went to the hospital for a visit. You never know what to expect during hospital visitations. As I got on the elevator and pushed the button for the 6th floor, I have to admit I was kind of sad. I knew my mother was at the end of her journey; we had also lost 5 MPACT brothers during 2022; now here was another piece of bad news. It just wasn’t a great year losing so many friends and family I loved. I thought of Caroline and how unfair it seemed that a young lady with a child would go through something like this. I expected the worst as the elevator doors opened and I walked to room 616.
As I knocked and walked through the door, I was surprised by what I heard; . . . I actually heard a little laughter. As I turned the corner and saw Michelle, she reached out with a warm smile and gave me a big hug. She then introduced me to Caroline. She was sitting up on her hospital bed as I hugged her. Caroline was smiling so big it made me a tad uneasy for a moment as I wasn’t expecting to see a smile. As I looked into her eyes, and looked back at Michelle I noticed something amazing about these two beautiful ladies; their EYES were smiling at me too! Like mother, like daughter!
We had an amazing conversation as they updated me on the cancer that is attacking Caroline’s body. The plan they had of travelling from Florida to Houston and the MD Anderson Cancer Center for consultation and treatment protocols. We talked of how our God was bigger than any disease that Satan was throwing at them. I listened to the plans they had to fight through this situation knowing the Holy Spirit of God was inside of them giving peace and strength; a strength they sometimes can’t comprehend, but know it can’t possibly come from them alone. Yes, they are in an uphill physical battle right now. I has to be so stressful, sad and frustrating that Caroline is going through this. We all know it’s a mother’s nightmare when her child is suffering. But this mother and daughter are focusing on something different than the pain. Their focus is who they are in Christ; the hope and identity God promised them, instead of the lies that a disease might define who they are. They know our God is a GOD of excellence and they expect nothing short of His excellence through this ordeal. They know they are in His excellent hands, through Christ Jesus. I can say I’ve seldom been more inspired than the time I’ve spent with these two sisters in Christ; two amazing ladies that I’m blessed to call friends. I was blessed to see the love of a mother, the loyalty of a daughter and the love of Christ smiling out of their eyes to every one they encounter.
We prayed over Caroline at the end of my visit. I was in awe of their peace and confidence. As I left room 616 and pushed the first-floor button in that elevator, I smiled and thanked God for “smiling eyes”. I also thanked him for bringing such an amazing mother and daughter into my life. Michelle is so inspiring to me, because of Christ in her. You know, there’s something about the love of a mother for her kids. I know God placed Michelle, Caroline and the mother and daughter in church yesterday into my life, to help me remember how special my mother was to me.
Do you recognize when someone’s eyes are smiling at you? Do you recognize God winking at you through someone else? Do you understand what Christ did TO you on that cross and FOR you with His resurrection? I’d love to hear your story and tell you about the Light of Christ that God promised to you the day you believe in Jesus; so your eyes will smile brightly too!
Thanks for reading our devotional today. And thanks for your prayers for Michelle and Caroline and her son. Thank you for believing in our ministry here at MPACT. Have an amazing week in Christ my friends. Be His light to shine to the world!