I thought it would be another typical, busy Sabbath for the Gil family. Sabbath School was nice; the youth class had been full with friends and visitors. My mom and dad were running to and fro as usual with their regular Sabbath duties. I picked up my little brother and sister from their Sabbath School classes, and we made our way to the sanctuary to sit down at our regular pew, and as always, I saved a seat for my mom.
The intermission song service had started, the music was cheerful and upbeat. My mother sat beside me this time and took a deep breath, probably glad to be off her feet after teaching the cradle roll class but ready to enjoy the praise service. I grabbed her hand and gave it a good squeeze assuring her everything would he all right.
Since we are a very "touchy, hugging, loving" family it's not unusual for me to hold my mom's hand during the service. But this time would be different, this time as I held my mother's hand I felt something I had never felt before... my emotions were stirred...I could hardly believe it...my morn had calluses in her hands!
When my dad was called to the ministry over 14 years ago, mom set her career and ambitions aside and decided she would work beside my dad and be available for him and for 'As kids. As we grew up and started church school it was obvious that two incomes were needed, so mom, as she puts it, "exploits everything her hands know how to do" so she could be her own boss and have the flexible schedule she needs to be available for ministry and her "angels" as she calls us.
Her hands reflected the hard work she had been doing for so long. As I lifted her hand to kiss it for all she sacrifices for us, she looked up at me only to see a tear rolling down my cheek. When she asked me what was wrong, I told her that I had felt the calluses in her hands and that I was so grateful for all she does for us.
Mom, never being one to pass up the opportunity for a good object lesson, used that moment to make me understand my salvation like I never had before. Sure my parents taught me that Jesus loves me, that His Father sent Him to earth to die for my sins so I could live forever. When I was 10, I was baptized as I asked Jesus to be in my heart forever. But the words my mom shared with me that morning will live forever in my heart and mind.
She said to me that one day soon I would hold the hands of Jesus and feel the scars in His Hands and then I would really cry tears of joy and gratitude for the sacrifice He had made for me. She said I would understand how God the Father felt the pain of sending His only Son to die and suffer such a terrible death to save me. She told me how Jesus, in His humanity wrestled with fear and doubt in Gethsemane but heard my voice calling out to Him in time and decided that I was worth any sacrifice. She said His Hands are the hands that sacrificed it all because of His love for me, and those hands are the ones I should cherish,
She then looked at me intently and said I should live my life to honor the sacrifice those hands made for me and for anyone else that answers His call. She added, that the choices I make in my life should always bring glory to Jesus, the One who will forever have His Hands and feet scarred as a reminder that He gave it all for me because of love.
I can't remember what my dad preached about that day, what songs were sung or what happened after that. My mind reflected on the lesson my mom had just taught me, another lesson learned from my mother's hands about my Jesus' love.