By Juanita Floyd
The Bible says in Titus that “the aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,…teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good …”
May is the month in which we observe Mother’s Day. We celebrate the wisdom, kindness, love and teachings that good mothers have bestowed upon their children and others for centuries. I think about some aged women in our church that we affectionately refer to as “Mother”, who have played a major role in my life and the lives of others.
There is Mother Cornelia Cummings who does not sugarcoat her words. She tells it like it is – whether it’s a rebuke or an encouraging word. She talks to the women, telling them how to reverence their husbands, and to the young girls on how to act and dress. I remember when I was saddened about my son getting tattoos. On one arm is my name and on the other arm is his name. I was crying in church and wondering where did I go wrong with my teachings. Mother Cummings immediately said to me, “Stop crying and worrying. One thing about it, wherever he is, you will always be ever before him and he will always know his name! You have done your part as a mother. Just keep on loving him.” She also encourages me each month regarding my columns.
There is Mother Elnora Long who constantly says to us, “We must all love each other and get along. The Lord is looking for true love – not mess.” She gets really enthused when she talks about the goodness of the Lord! There is Mother Lottie Cummings who constantly tells us, “I am praying for the children. The Lord wakes me up in the wee hours of the morning to pray for our children. Sometimes, I pray all night.”
There is Mother Betty Cummings who sings the song, “It could have been another way.” She says, “If it wasn’t for the Lord on our side, our lives could have been very different.”
There is Mother Bernice Gambrell who was the doorkeeper at our church. As Head Usher, she kept order in the Lord’s house. She constantly told us how much she loves us. Mother Gambrell is no longer able to perform any duty in church. She is now wheelchair bound; but still expresses her love.
I also think of my mother’s sister, Leona Cobb, age 90, who is not a mother of our church, but is an aged woman full of so much wisdom. Aunt Leona reminds me of the virtuous woman King Solomon talked about. Solomon said, “…she worketh willingly with her hands…” Aunt Leona wanted to send her children to college, so in the early 60s’ she came up with an idea to make and sell rain bonnets. She sold thousands of them and all seven of her children are well-learned and educated.
What do all of these mothers have in common? They are aged mothers who love their children and want to see them successful. Mother Cornelia’s son sings a song that says, “Like a mother’s love for her child she’ll do anything, she’ll do it with a smile, and when trouble comes, “Everything is alright” that’s what she’ll say. She’s up early in the morning, sometimes late at night, doing all she can to make everything alright cause – love will go all the way.”
I dedicate this column to all mothers, including those who never physically bore a child, whether they are still here, incapacitated with dementia, Alzheimer’s, blindness, etc. or have gone on to be with the Lord. When you think about your mother, do you think of her gentle smile; her wisdom; her love for you; her love of the Lord? You be the judge.
JUANITA GAMBRELL FLOYD is vice president for Finance and Administration at CREATE Foundation. Contect her at firstname.lastname@example.org.