Happy Mother’s Day, to all in the LB Universe! 💐
To observe this special day, let’s revisit a few moments where the unconditional love of a woman to her child—or her child’s love interest—shined through during critical times of need.
There’s nothing like the sacrificial love of an attending mother. We honor women who have provided nurturing for the better of their communities. May we all have felt it or expensed it to those we serve in any maternal capacity! 👑
Let’s start with our favorite MoG (Man of God)… 🎭📿
~She stood at the entrance of the room. Her slimming frame resting on a pillar with tears streaming down her face. My shoulders slumped and I turned away from her, unable to stand at this point. For a while, she graciously didn’t speak. This gave me time to conjure words of dismissal.
“Tell me everything’s fine and I’ll leave, believing every word,” she whispered.
I wanted to turn to her for assurance, but couldn’t bear to see the despondency in her eyes. Her emotional play wasn’t for the reasons she spoke of. Her tears were because of what she’d just walked in on me doing.
“All is well. Life can resume as normal,” I attempted.
“She wasn’t at church on Sunday, and I bet she won’t be in the sanctuary tonight.”
My nostrils flared. This would not be a docile visit. She came with ammunition, and I was not prepared.
“All couples fight, Mother.”
“But not all couples call it quits in under a year.”
That’s when I turned to her. “No one’s calling it quits.”
“That young lady started coming to both morning worship services and sat in the same pew each Bible study. She’s not by your side as first lady to the pastor of one of the most prestigious organizations on this side of the country. Don’t tell me nobody’s calling it quits!” she yelped her maternal leverage.
I hadn’t heard that screech in years. It had no less effect either. I turned back to the baby grand, taking another deep breath. The last person I needed to see me in this state, carrying out my indiscernibly pitchy emotions via song was my mother.
“She’s doing what you’ve resented me for not doing all these years. She’s putting her foot down.”
“You have no idea what our problems are,” I challenged her with a creased forehead.
“Ezra, you are my child! My joy, my headache, my heartache! I know it was you who ran that girl away!” She pushed off the pillar, padding toward me with angry eyes. The closer she grew, the more I could recognize a difference in her appearance. My mother was indeed thinner. Her face painted with more makeup than I was used to seeing. She didn’t speak for a while, and that irked me.
“I’m not the type of man to run to his mother about marital pangs,” I grated.
She rolled her eyes, waving off the notion. “You think that’s what I’m expecting? I may have driven all the way out here to see about you two, but I ain’t so foolish to believe you’re going to give me an ounce of detail that would begin to make sense of the strange man you are.” My eyes widened then retracted. She was right. My mother may have never agreed with my personality traits, but she’d always protected me from a world that wanted to dissect my mind. “I made you. I may not get you, but I know the good stock that’s in you. I know you’re more of Bishop Travois Daniels than you are Bishop Sylvester Carmichael.”
A grunt erupted in the back of my throat at the mention of my beloved grandfather. I swallowed it, just as I’d been accustomed to doing. I was grateful for the comparison. Honored by it.
“When did she leave?”
“Who said she left, Mother?” I cringed, accosted.
My mother rolled her heavy eyes, sucking her teeth as she took a seat next to me on the bench. I scooted over to make room.
“Now, I may not be the best example of a wife, but being a laboring mother ain’t all that optional when you truly love your child. You’re my only one, Ezra. And I may have let you run across the world all those years ago, but I did it believing in that gut feeling I’ve always had about you. You do what’s right. And when it doesn’t want to get right, you make it right.” She patted my knee, gazing beyond the piano. “You may need time, but you always manage to get people and things in order. Don’t fall short of that in your own home, son.”
I blinked, stretching my lids. “This one may be beyond my influence,” I murmured, intentionally to myself.
She scoffed. “You’re a therapist, sweetheart. I’m sure you two were working through it in your own way. Hang on to that, Ezra. It ain’t the world’s business how you last, as long as you last.”
That struck a new course of thinking. Me working with Alexis on the trauma from her attack. I’d never considered it, because I hadn’t known it was still an issue.
Because you didn’t care to assess it.
Perhaps…but it didn’t matter to me—doesn’t matter to me.
We’re all new creatures in Christ—
That thought was thwarted by Alexis’ haunting words. “You never pray with me. Never minister to me.”
She was right: I objectified my gift. I’d never looked at Alexis as a wife. I’d only looked past her, to God for delivering His end of the bargain. I took the gift and ran, so to speak. I viewed her as a blossomed flower, instead of a seed needing to be watered and properly nurtured to grow.
My mother nudging me called my attention back to her.
“I have to go. Need to get cleaned up for service tonight. I would ask if you’re okay with preaching, but that’s the one area of your life that doesn’t seem to be affected. Your father won’t admit it, but he admires that about you. You can impart a word in the fiery pits of hell if you think it’s going to save souls.”
That thought warmed me as she rubbed my shoulder. I was partially dressed in suit pants and an unbuttoned shirt. When otherwise my unkempt presentation would have been an issue for me, being informally clothed in front of my mother while she nurtured me was what I needed.
Her strong regard met mine as she whispered, “I believe in Ezra.”
I swallowed hard and jaw clenched, resenting the budding emotion from her dutiful visit. I was no momma’s boy, and yet her presence had been weighty. It was a stark notification of how out of sorts my life must appear on the outside. She was covering me in the only way a mother knew to. That mantra sealed the deal.
“And I believe in Ezra.”
She smiled, her features weary, but her spirit fiercely bold.
“Before I go…” she gestured to the keys of the piano. “Amen, please.”
“Mother, I have an important call to make before I leave for service. I don’t have time,” I attempted fruitlessly.
She’d caught me doing what she dreamed for me since I was a boy. Playing the keys and singing prided her. I could attribute this to the presence of Alexis in my life. I hadn’t sung publicly in decades, and rarely sat here and played the baby grand. Today, I felt the need to view this as an instrument rather than a piece of furniture.
Perhaps because of the fond memory of her on it.
“All those years of lessons, young man. The least you could do is give me a few minutes of your craft.” She clutched her chest. “I tell the world how my son has the best voice around. It’s too bad it’s one of your many gifts you didn’t pursue.” Nodding again, she requested, “Amen.”
Taking another deep breath, my hands rose over the keys as I tapped the first I thought would give me a good introduction to Andraé Crouch’s Amen. As I began yielding into the number, my anxiety suspended. My spirit man opened to the submission of God when I affirmed that His will was well with my soul. I’d been in this submissive spiritual position for eight years, and while I’d seen His hand as a result, I had my bouts with my own flesh. And not in a sexual regard: flesh can be personified in our conduct and thoughts. Quite often in life, we have to temper our flesh to receive what God has for us. It’s in our control and therefore must be our decided execution. Sometimes, we have to take our hands off the matter, simply stretch them to the heavens, and say, “Amen.”
“Faith must be…in what you say…”
I no longer felt my mother at my side at some point. And once I was done, a glance around the room confirmed she’d slipped out while I had been caught up. My mother’s visit gave me every bit of the revelation needed to, at least, get through tonight’s Bible study.~
✍🏽️ #PenningWithoutParameters ✍🏽️
💜 #ImGonnaMakeYouLoveMe 💜