Keys to the Kingdom By Carolyn Hayward Tucker
I very well remember September 27, 1970, when the first grandbaby in my immediate family made his appearance.
My nephew Brad was born in Olathe, Kansas and the hospital rules were stricter then than now. I was 12 years old and sitting in the OB waiting room with my parents. We had all read the posted sign: “No one under age 14 allowed in Waiting Room.“ We simply ignored the rule and hoped no one would notice, because I was so excited about this birth! I absolutely did not want to be excluded on such a special occasion! I also very well remember the nurse that came out, took one look at me, and promptly threw me out.
Nevertheless, the arrival of that baby rocked our world and we were never the same. My mother passed away in 2015 and I read her diaries. One of her entries was about her grandson Brad, which read: “I kept Bradley today. He is like my very own; no difference.” Tears fall even now when I think of the beauty and truth of those words. Our family witnessed her beautiful love for all five of her grandchildren.
The Old Testament account of Boaz and Ruth’s marriage and Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi is very touching. “So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife…and she gave birth to a son. Then the women of the town said to Naomi, …May this child be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!” (Ruth 4:13-15 NLT). (Seven was considered a number of completeness, so to have seven sons was the epitome of all family blessings in Israel.) The beautiful love of a grandmother is a priceless treasure. “Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own” (Ruth 4:16 NLT). In this verse, we see the special love between a grandmother and a grandson.
In the New Testament, we find the beautiful love between a mother and a son. When Jesus was suffering on the cross, he had his adoring mother on his mind. “Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple He loved, He said to her, ‘Dear woman, here is your son.’ And He said to this disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from then on this disciple took her into his home” (John 19:25-27 NLT). Evidently John was standing by Mary, giving her consolation and comfort. In this passage we see the special love between a mother and a son.
Mary was nearly 50 years old and a widow. Jesus deeply loved and honored His mother and, while in terrible pain and suffering, Jesus tenderly thought of her. He knew it was the responsibility of children to care for their elderly parents and provide a proper burial for them. Although Mary had other children, Jesus was her firstborn and He needed to know that His precious mother would be taken care of when He left this world. Since John was the only disciple devoted and brave enough to be at the crucifixion, I believe Jesus knew He could trust John to be lovingly committed to the care of His mother Mary.
It’s been said that as death draws nearer, the dying individual narrows their thoughts down to those who are nearest and dearest. Jesus proved this to be true. Let’s not wait until death is approaching to demonstrate beautiful love to our mother and grandmothers. Remember, no matter how old we are, we never outgrow our need for a mother.
The Key: A lovely bouquet of roses to all mothers and grandmothers — you are a VIP!