A Mother's Day Miracle
BETTY ASHLEY, almost sixteen, stood before the bathroom mirror, applying more rouge to her already too red cheeks. Then she proceeded to make use of the lipstick. She was proudly surveying her reflection, when her twin brother, Bob, poked his grinning face in the open door.
“Preparing for a war dance, my pretty Indian maiden?”
Betty coolly ignored him, arranging her dark curls.
“Say, Miss Stuck-Up!” he retorted. “Can’t you speak to a gentleman?”
“Gentleman!” Betty snapped. “I might-if there were one around!” Holding her head high she sailed majestically out of the room, pushing her brother aside.
Bob – preparing for his morning shower – said to himself, “Whew-was she ever high-hat! Dressed fit to kill! Wonder what Mom will say? She doesn’t go for facial decorations.”
He was right. Mom did not. She heartily disapproved of her daughter’s modern ways. She found the task of raising two fatherless children a difficult one. If only Jim were alive! She was thinking seriously of marrying again. Alvin Reynolds was a splendid man, but the children bitterly opposed having him for a stepfather.
“Betty, you look like a million dollars!” exclaimed Fern Davis, a sophomore classmate. “Thanks, old dear,” Betty smiled.
“I wish my mother agreed with you. She had five fits this morning!”
“Yeah?” Fern replied. “Doesn’t approve of war paint, eh?”
Betty shrugged her shoulders. “It’s a terrible sin-to hear her tell it. Don’t know what she would say if she knew I smoked.”
Mrs. Ashley was unaware of many things which her children were doing. She would have been grief-stricken had she known what they were doing on the sly. For years she had been a member of the First Street Church, faithfully taking her twins to Sunday School. When they reached the age of fourteen, they refused to attend. However, her interest in the prominent church began to fade, when a new minister came to occupy the pulpit. He scoffed at the old Bible truths which she had always heard, and she left the church.
It was a lovely Sunday morning in April. Mrs. Ashley, out for a long walk, was saying to herself, “I should be in church, I suppose, but-oh, I wish I knew of an old-fashioned church."
Sometime later, she saw an attractive new structure with plenty of cars parked in front. She heard singing - strains of “Jesus Saves.” The Gospel Tabernacle - oh, yes, she had heard about this peculiar church! The singing - she paused a while to listen - it was wonderful!
A car drove up and parked. A well-dressed couple stepped out. George and Mary Andrews! Did they attend this church? Before she knew what had happened, Mrs. Ashley found herself seated with the Andrews in the crowded congregation. She greatly enjoyed the service - so much so that she chose the Gospel Tabernacle as her church home.
Bob and Betty were indignant. The idea of Mom attending that church! They argued, pleaded and threatened, but all in vain. The happy widow had found her church and her Saviour. Earnestly she besought the Lord to rescue her precious son and daughter from the snares of the evil one.
It was Friday, and the following Sunday was Mother’s Day. Bob and Betty were on their way to school. “What’ll we give Mom? I suppose we’ll have to give her something,” Betty remarked indifferently.
“Yeah-we always have,” Bob replied. “She would like a plant, wouldn’t she?”
“That’ll be okay, only - ” Betty shrugged her shoulders“ she’ll probably tote it down to her precious church!”
The superintendent addressed the school assembly that morning, giving a talk on mothers. He was loved and respected by the entire student body, and a very attentive audience listened to his message. Many were doing some deep thinking. He concluded with an earnest appeal for everyone present to attend a Mother’s Day service in their mother’s church, urging them to sit with their mothers, if they were fortunate enough to have them living on this earth.
“Hey, you twins!” called a girl’s voice. “Wait up a minute!”
“Yeah, we want a few words with you,” added a boyish voice.
Bob and Betty, leaving the school, turned to see Jack and Marjory trotting up the walk behind them.
“How’d you like the speech this morning?” demanded Jack.
“Fine!” Bob and Betty said together.
“Then you’re going to church Sunday with your mother?” Marjory asked.
“Why - I - we - hadn’t decided,” Betty stammered. “Are you going? Say, what church does your mother attend?”
Jack blushed and Marjory looked embarrassed as she answered, “Why the Gospel Tabernacle.” Bob and Betty glanced at each other in surprise.
“Well, well!” exclaimed Bob finally. “That’s the same church Mom attends!”
Mother’s Day Sunday dawned clear and beautiful - a lovely morning for a country hike. However, the Ashley twins and Jack and Marjory had decided it would not look well to let their mothers go to church without them on Mother’s Day, so had agreed to surprise them by accompanying them.
Mrs. Ashley was clearing the breakfast dishes when Betty spoke. “Mother, we’ve decided to accompany you to church.” Her mother’s heart skipped a beat. A cup nearly dropped from her trembling hands. God did answer prayer!
“Take it easy, Mom,” Bob smiled. “Kind of knocked you off your pins, huh?”
“Yes, be calm, Mother,” added Betty. “This is Mother’s Day-we figured we had to go today, but we won’t again!”
“Of course not,” Bob laughed. But Mom thought otherwise. She knew God was working.
“Maybe not,” she smiled. “We’ll see.”
Bob and Betty glanced around them. Such a crowd. Of course, none of their friends would be there-except Jack and Marjory-so they thought. Why, there sat Esther and Neal! There was Paul, Virginia-did they attend this church?
A young people’s choir sang with enthusiasm; then a young and smiling evangelist was introduced. His subject was, “Unbelieving Young People and Praying Mothers.”
Bob and Betty never knew just how it happened, but after the sermon, they made their way to the church altar, while the choir softly sang, “Mother’s Prayers Have Followed Me.” All around them were other young people. What a service!
On their way home, Bob suddenly announced, “Say, Mom, I’ve been thinking I need a father to look after me, and Mr. Reynolds would suit me just fine!”
“Me too,” added Betty, slipping a loving hand around her mother.
Mom’s eyes filled with tears again. Her cup of joy overflowed. The day of miracles past? Hardly! This Mother’s Day was filled with them.
R. J. Wilkins