My Father died when I was about seven. Mother raised the three of us, at great personal cost.


Sometimes the food wouldn’t divide four ways and so she went without anything. Since this all happened before the modern trend towards rights and protections we moved often. All her attempts at a new relationship rested on shaky terms because of her instinct to protect her brood.

She raised us in Baptist churches, though the specific breed never took on importance. The only thing that mattered in the choice was could we get a ride, or could we walk.

While such things escaped me when I was a child, it haunts me now to think that she went hungry so we kids could share the last of the bread and milk. The stress of single-parenting, all the weight of earning the money, finding accommodation, making what little we had go around makes an almost unbelievable story.

Had she just given up on us her own life might have turned out better for her. But she didn’t.

I make no pretense of my Mother living without flaws, nor does she. But I honour her model of faith, endurance and a love that goes far beyond words or definition.

When I look at my Mother I see Christ at work, not theologically, but in the dirt and grime of some of the worst that humans have to endure.

I tell her this. Here I do that again. And now I pass it on to you. Jesus lived the love of the cross, even though it costs. My Mother did, too.

Will you?