Monday, December 22, 2014


Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above,

coming down from the Father of lights. James 1:17a

In 1994 my mother was in the hospital for hip repair surgery. She was not able to recognize me and my presence seemed to agitate her, not comfort her. I had gone to the hospital chapel to pray because I realized that not only might my mother be dying, but there was also nothing I could do to help her. I wanted to ask her if she still wanted the surgery, even though she was not healthy enough for the anesthesia due to a recent heart attack and might not survive the surgery. More than anything, I wanted the chance to make her understand how much I loved her. She had lived a hard life with too little love given to her to always know how to show it to others. I wanted to make sure she knew the depth of my love for her. But, that did not happen; I was not able to talk with her about this. I have always wondered if she knew, really knew, of my love for her. I have prayed to God for some assurance that she did.

The answer to that prayer came last year when I was blessed to find a long-missing picture taken at Christmas the year I was three. It is a snapshot of my family, whole and unbroken. My brother, Richard, was then an infant, and my Mom is so busy tending him that she is not fully facing the camera. A magically beautiful but tiny tree is there. My sister Cindy, with her adorable blond hair and wearing a red cotton dress, is smiling brightly and playing with our gifts. The picture only shows the top of my head, not my pigtails; it does not show the toys I received or the red dress sewn to match Cindy’s dress that I was wearing. What the picture does show, however, is the top of my head resting on my mom’s side. I can see in that photo the love I felt for her. I can also see that she already knew how much I loved her. That picture, old and wrinkled, is more valuable to me than all the toys I received that year or the clothes I wore. The picture shows the bond of love between my mother and me; it also is an answer to prayer from a loving and compassionate God.

Debbie Mawyer-Hamlin

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that you love us with an unwavering love, and that in your compassion you answer our heartfelt prayers. Amen.