1 Peter 5:7 was my mother’s favorite scripture verse. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” For her it was the King James version imbedded in her memory and which gave her comfort, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I remember her often reciting it… “Casting… care… careth…” it had an appealing ring.
Mom had good reason to rely on this promise. A play accident when she was very young had damaged her developing spine in an era when medical science could do little to correct it. She endured years of therapy which involved being hung weighted in a door frame, in hope of stretching her warping spine. She wore a heavy metal body brace beneath her clothing and became a target for the taunts of her schoolmates.
She told me the story of how one schoolyard bully threatened repeatedly to plough his fist into her spine and cripple her permanently. One day, fed up with this, she said to him, “OK… go ahead. Give it all you’ve got!” The bully did exactly that!
But mom knew a thing the bully had forgot: the heavy metal jacket she wore under her clothing!
The therapy was of little help. Kyphosis and scoliosis grew her into a truncated hunchback. No doubt she wondered if she would ever find love.
She served with the Red Cross during World War II. Some of her fondest memories were the smiles she brought to the wounded, souls far more disfigured than she. She did find love, and soon after the war ended she and my father were married. Dad took a job in a T.V. repair shop – cutting edge stuff back then. Mom worked in a bookstore, which she loved. I was born in 1951.
But even my birth brought challenges, negotiating my passage through her twisted and compressed organs. Year’s later when I began to have seizures doctors reasoned that this was the cause. When my grandmother died her father-in-law moved in and in time developed Alzheimer’s. When I was very young the same scenario had developed with her own father – till she found him dead one morning in our living room armchair. Three days past my 16th birthday my father died also and my widowed mom took in boarders to help make ends meet. This continued several years as she influenced the lives of many. Eventually worsening Parkinson’s disease forced her to close this chapter of her pilgrimage.
Mom died July 23 1990 from frailness of body, pneumonia, and finally a heart attack.
Throughout her life mom struggled with recurring nervousness. Another scripture to which she often turned was this,
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:29-31)
She told me once of a time she heard the Lord’s voice clearly and softly say to her, “Little girl, you worry too much.” Mom was a frail and faithful saint. Her quiet acceptance of trials and her developing habit of casting her cares upon Him is a legacy I cherish.
This same care is available to all who call upon Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. He cares about you… now… so much that He gave His life to restore you. Cast your all upon Him today.
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