January 6, 1971 began unlike any other day in my youthful life. It was very early in the morning, well before dawn. I was in bed dreaming when I was ushered into the day by screams of my mother. “Boys, boys! Get up!” Our house was engulfed in flames, due to an iron, or a dryer left on in the laundry room. My mother, who slept in an opposite end of the house had awakened to find the house swallowed in fire, and she attempted to make her way through the residence trying to awaken her four children who were held captive inside the flames, yet the intense heat restricted her from doing so. We were facing near-certain doom.
Unable to negotiate her way through the burning house, and seeing the blazing structure burn from the position of the living room, she knew she needed to get outside, nearer the bedrooms. She did something only a desperate mother would do. Knowing time was of the essence, and dressed in nothing but a nightgown she put her head down, held out her arm and ran through a 5 by 8-foot plate-glass sliding door. The ensuing collision granted her exit but not before gashing her open arm at the elbow. From that vantage point outside the burning bedrooms, barefoot and bleeding, her cries were able to reach her slumbering youths so we could awaken and run to safety. The encounter left a scar that she wears to this very day as a memorial of her love for her children, and of that very brave act. Love had left a mark.
That is the same kind of act that God performed for our benefit. He saw we were lost in a future of doom, and without Him, without His help, we would perish. Trapped behind a curtain of flame that would certainly ruin us, He sent His Son into the midst of the calamity to save us by dying on the Cross. He was successful, but in His case as well, His act of love had left a mark.
In John 20:25, 27-28, Jesus makes His way to His disciples after the resurrection, and He carries with him those scars. Thomas expresses doubts and said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Then He [Christ] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Christ revealed the marks of love, the marks of death, yet, the marks that exist for eternity as the memorial of love for the human race.
The passion of Jesus Christ was not leading Him to disgrace upon the cross, but rather to “glorification.” He was headed, in effect, to His coronation ceremony. That blessed event came with a very great price, the pain of God and the scarring of Christ. Christ is in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, yet, He is still in a physical body, though it is indeed His glorified body. Those scars still exist as a reminder of the act of love performed on your behalf. They were a very costly price to pay. Don’t take it lightly.
Wake up! Get out of the fire! Run to Him!
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us remember that God has granted these great stewards as protectorates of life to us, which were imparted as physical parental expressions of His love for us. Sometimes that responsibility comes at great cost, costs that leave marks upon these maternal warriors. Let it be known you appreciate her.
I love you deeply, Mom.
Thanks for the marks of love you bear for me.
(Since this was first written, she has gone to be with the Lord; I am still so grateful for her presence in my life.)