Same Coin, Different Sides

“But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them,” Nehemiah 9

His mother was there for his graduation. Barbara was all smiles driving up in the hard rain from the county south to see her son “graduate” from our 6 month program. I don’t know her son well. Would guess him to be in his 40’s. I know last Sunday in chapel he looked distracted and uncomfortable. I asked after service how he was and he said fine. Five minutes later he was back saying he wasn’t going to lie to me. He was struggling. We hugged. He knows the ups and downs and is thankful for the hard changes he’s made and is still making. It’s not easy. Not like you hope it will be.

And his mom…….I took a quick picture of her smile beaming straight from her heart. It was blurred and I didn’t get permission to use it but I have it in my mind and her smile makes me smile. A mom and her son. Pride. The right kind.

Our speaker, that night, has 17 months clean. The longest he’s had since he picked up years ago. This man I know. He’s been in our doors several times, all of them to recoup not recover. This time he was different. This time he wanted recovery.

When Keith shared his story he told about the stealing. From anyone and everyone. From his mom. He told about her asking how could he steal from her. Her only son. Her baby.

It’s a story I’ve heard over and over. Stole from grandmothers, parents, single moms, sisters. It’s what has distanced so many. It’s not the money or things but the broken trust. The betrayal.

Now the guilt. It’s part of what will make Mothers Day hard for some. Keith’s mom is fine. They’ve made their amends. But for some it’s too soon. The pain too fresh. Their mom won’t answer their calls yet and it’s another tough holiday. There are no Hallmark cards to assure mom they’re clean today.

It’s a tough day for many. Some can’t admit they don’t like their mothers for abuses done to them and others can’t forgive themselves for betraying their mom. Same coin, different sides.

That’s where we’ll focus our thoughts this Mothers Day. Forgiveness. An odd message from the pulpit for a Mothers Day perhaps. Not the Proverbs 31 woman so often used but forgiveness. For others. For ourselves.

And will you join us? Join your prayers with ours as we forgive the mom that stayed drunk our whole childhood or brought too many “uncles” home. Join us as we ask forgiveness for the wrongs we’ve done to our moms. Forgiveness is a gift to others but mostly to ourselves. God forgives because he loves.