What memories and shared experiences connect you to your mother—or if you’re a mom, to your children? In this Mother’s Day reflection, author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd recalls an unexpected moment of spiritual growth that she shared with her son.
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” — Judges 6:12
When I first became a mother, I wanted my son to see for himself the hand of God moving in his life. So I began to pray with him when he was only two. Almost every day Jake and I kept our appointment with God. We would ask Him to use us to do His work that day, and I was so encouraged to see a little boy be so passionate for prayer.
When Jake turned thirteen, I prayed that God would help him understand the true joy of giving. At the time, we lived in a small town in central Oregon where there was no mall. One day Jake and I drove to Portland for a big shopping spree. We had saved our money all year for our big day at the mall. As I drove, I prayed with Jake for a divine appointment—and our God didn’t waste any time answering that prayer.
We walked into the mall and Jake was immediately off to the computer store. As I followed behind him, I happen to notice a young teenage girl curled up on a bench, shaking. It was freezing outside and she did not appear to have a coat. I couldn’t see her face, but I could tell that she was very cold and in emotional pain. My heart broke for her. I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to do something to help, so I approached her and said, “Please let me pray for you.”
To my surprise she totally mocked me by responding sarcastically, “Whatever”—to which I shot back, “I’m not leaving until I pray for you.” She looked at me with anger in her eyes and said, “Go ahead and get it over with.” Jake walked up to us just as I began to pray this prayer:
“Dear God, I don’t know what this girl has been through, but You do, so please let her know You love her and that You can and will help her. Please show her today, somehow, that You see her broken heart and You can restore all she has lost. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
This precious girl went from cold and distant to crying uncontrollably. Then she began to share her story through her tears. She had gotten pregnant, but her parents had wanted her to abort the baby. She wanted to keep the baby and marry her boyfriend, who was the father of the child. Her parents had kicked her out on the streets. She and her boyfriend kept the baby, slept under a bridge, and still went to high school. But because they were homeless, they had given the baby up for adoption.
The girl’s boyfriend walked up while she was sharing their story, and my son said out loud, “Mom, it’s time to shop.”
I said, “Jake, did you hear their situation?”
He said, “Yes, that’s why we need to spend our shopping money on them.”
That day Jake took the young man and bought him clothes, a sleeping bag, new shoes, and a backpack. I took the girl and did the same. At the end of our time with them, we got to pray the greatest prayer of all—the prayer for salvation. Then our ministry cut a check to get them in an apartment and off the streets.
As Jake and I drove back home without any shopping bags in our car, Jake said to me, “Mom, that was the best day I have ever had!” At that moment I realized that Jake will never remember anything I bought him when he is old, but he will never forget the day God used his life as a gift to someone else.
If you found this devotional helpful, be sure to check out Sheri’s Bible Life Coaching with Sheri Rose Shepherd email devotional. Each weekly installment of the devotional includes a video, devotional message, and “letter from God.” And be sure to to visit Sheri at BibleLifeCoaching.com to learn more about her ongoing ministry.