As today is Mother's Day I've decided to be topical and write about my mum. Let me say now that this blog has nothing to do with goings on here in Kosovo so if you're only interested in the activities of a hardened missionary you should feel free to skip this one.
This is my mum, Helen Louise Davis. I'll be honest, this isn't a new photo. That shock of dark hair has long be replaced by her "crown of splendour" (check it out Bible Buffs - "Grey hair is a crown of splendour, it is attained by the way of righteousness" Prov 16:31). This was taken a really long time ago when they still thought the world was flat and when they made nurses wear those crazy hats. Here she is as a fresh-faced Nightingale nurse, newly minted from the St Thomas' school for girls who like to look after people. She's retiring this year, I think in order to spend more time nursing...
And here she is with my dad, Stephen Davis. This is them in 1992 wearing HIlarious t-shirts that say "I'm in love with a married man/woman...my husband/wife!". No joke. There is a plethora of other photos of serious fashion faux pas, particularly from the 80s. Apparently having children means you don't have time to keep up with fashion or something. Try telling Victoria Beckham that.
Anyway, the point is that today is a nice opportunity to honour the Mums in our lives, so indulge me, I'm going to tell you about mine. As I'm now officially grown up I've been thinking about the things that Mum has taught me. There are some practical things, the tying of shoelaces, the cleaning of teeth, and the making of a cracking Bechamel sauce, but there have also been some more important things.
My mum taught me about being a "strong woman", and it turns out that it doesn't mean being loud, obnoxious, demanding or unemotional. She showed me that being "strong" means having a core of steel, an internal commitment not to waver but to face the storm and ride it out. My mum is quiet and gentle, but she's super-strong and when I really grow up, I want to be as strong as her.
My mum taught me that I am enough. She and Dad never asked me to be anything other than what I am, always helped me to fulfill the potential I was showing, never undercut or undermined me, always encouraged and nurtured me. They always let me know that who and what I am is all I should be.
My mum showed me the power of prayer. Legend has it that when she had four daughters in various stages of child/teenage-hood, she would stand outside our doors in the evening and pray for us. When we were so annoying she couldn't be in the same room as us she waited outside and committed us to God. I've watched my mum cry in prayer and laugh in prayer, pray for people who are hurting and people who are being blessed, pray through births, deaths and marriages, and I've watched her do it consistently for 26 years.
My mum showed me Jesus. In the twenty years since I made the decision to put Jesus on my Friends list, Mum has been one of the clearest examples of who and what Jesus is. She has this seemingly unending supply of grace and love, which she has poured out on me, my sisters, my dad, and so many of those around her, year on year. Her compassion, which has fuelled a lifetime of nursing care, has repeatedly reminded me of the compassion Jesus has for me and for the poor, the broken, and the lost.
So basically Mum, I'm a big fan. And in your words, I am the richest of women. Me, Lou, Jess and Char are the richest of women because we have you, and because you showed us Jesus. How could we be richer?
Happy Mother's Day Mum. I love you.