Dear Friends, I wrote three new Christian Mother’s Day Short Stories this year and couldn’t decide which one to share . . . so, here are ALL THREE! Enjoy! 🙂 Mother’s Day is a time when we remember our mothers, but only on the one day. How about a lifetime of remembrance, when we live out our best for God, activating all that our mothers instilled in us? Here’s a short story about a son who leaves his mother, but with a twist. I hope it means something to you. Have a blessed Mother’s Day, Mothers!—David Telbat
Mother’s Day Short Story #1
A Fine Mother’s Day Gift
by D.I. Telbat
Cindy Truman watched her son as he spoke to the small crowd of people in the airport terminal. Her husband, Curt, stood at her side. Neither of them said anything as they listened to Chad from a distance. They’d arrived in the middle of the night to say goodbye to him, on the eve of Mother’s Day, but he hadn’t shown any indication that he’d even noticed them yet.
The crowd of people were Christians from the community. They consisted of all different ages, backgrounds, and marital status, but they had one thing in common—they all believed that God was sending them somewhere to minister to the lost. For months, they’d saved money and received training from Chad Truman, and other faithful men and women from the local fellowship. Now, on the night of their departure, Chad spoke his final words—words that made Cindy both rejoice and mourn.
“Some of you will not return home,” Chad said, his eyes intense. “Some of you will die where God has called you to go, and some of you will have no reason to return to the States, since you’ll see your mission field as your final purpose in this world. If you are called to die, die well. If you are called to serve, serve God by caring for their souls. Tell them the truth about their sin, then tell them the truth about their Savior. And when they receive this truth, teach them enough to become careful students of the Bible and followers of Jesus Christ.”
There was more said, but Cindy tuned him out for a few minutes, thinking of the son she had raised. And now he was leaving, perhaps never to return home again. Curt had worked two jobs while Chad had grown from a boy into a man. Cindy had homeschooled Chad for years, giving up everything to see their son become the man he was now. And this was what he was doing with it all—leaving them!
“It’s not fair,” Cindy gasped, her heart torn. An instant later, she realized she’d spoken aloud, and glanced at her husband. “It’s not. He’s leaving us.”
“That’s not what this is about.” Curt put his arm around her. “He’s using what we taught him. He’s using what you taught him. Between God and the two of us, that son of ours is going where we hadn’t imagined, but it’s what we taught him.”
“I wanted him to be faithful,” Cindy frowned, “not to forget what we’ve done for him. Look at all these people. It’s like they’re more important to him than we are.”
“Isn’t that what you told him all those Bible stories for when he was growing up? So that he would care for others the way Christ does?” Curt sighed. “We don’t need to feel neglected. I can’t think of a better way a son can remember his mother, hon, than to memorialize her by the way he obeys God.”
“So, you don’t think he’s forgotten us?” she asked, looking up at him.
“Not even a little bit.” Curt chuckled. “I kept a roof over our heads, but you taught him how to read and write. He knows the names of countries because you made sure he learned about God’s creation. In fact, he’s put all of this together because you made sure he learned the right things. That’s a parent’s job—to prepare our children to reach the world for Christ. You did well, hon.”
“But, he could die. This might be the last time we ever see him!”
“Well, at least until we see him in the clouds, right?” Curt kissed her forehead. “Come on. Let’s get closer so we can hear better. I think they’re getting ready to board their planes.”
A part of Cindy wanted to remain in the background, maybe out of self-pity, she admitted to herself. But she allowed her husband to draw her closer until they had joined with the group of Christians who were flying out that night. Chad was no longer speaking. Another young man was reciting a verse from memory, probably meaning to inspire their hearts as they faced persecution, trials, and hardship. In that moment, gazing at her son, Cindy made no sense of her husband’s counsel. How was the departure of her son anything but a slap in the face?
Suddenly, Chad’s eyes fell on her, and he gave her his boyish grin. It all came back to her in that look. He winked at her, and a whole message was transmitted in that instant. Cindy’s vision blurred as tears formed. Gladness whelmed her heart, and though the pain over the loss of her departing son remained, there was warmth in it as well. She had prepared him for this very calling, but she hadn’t prepared herself for his leaving.
The crowd parted as he approached his parents. Cindy’s urge to scold him for his lack of attention all passed. He embraced her and then his father. Lastly, he squeezed her hand and smiled at her with a bit of sadness.
Though he said nothing still, she understood everything now. He didn’t necessarily want to go. It wasn’t about him wanting to leave his parents, or her. It was about what he had to do, what he was born to do. For a little while, God had given him to her to raise up, with Curt’s fatherly guidance directing along the way. And this departure wasn’t the end. They would be a part of his work, every minute of it. They were the reason his work was possible! And he would still need them. Just not as a boy any longer.
Chad boarded his plane at midnight, the last to leave of those waiting for departing flights. His last glance back was toward them. Cindy waved, and he waved back. And there was that smile again. He was going off to serve God!
Oh, it was a fine Mother’s Day gift.
Mother’s Day Short Story #2
Mother’s Day is sometimes about finding our way home. Below is a story about a lost son and a faithful, gracious mother. I hope you have found your way home.—David Telbat
A Fresh Start
by D.I. Telbat
Brenda Rosco had been serving at her church fellowship’s soup kitchen every Sunday evening for thirty years. Mother’s Day was no exception. Her three children were grown, and two of them didn’t communicate with her anymore, but she still had others to care for. She hadn’t stopped being a mother.
That night, Brenda served a thick stew to the crowd. The gathering of homeless seemed to grow every year. Lonely men with beards held out their trays for a full scoop from the ladle. Women with infants and shame on their faces held a tray in one hand and their baby in the other.
But Brenda never wanted them to feel shame. She could hardly wait for the line to run out, so she could mingle with the people and love them through their circumstances. Only by the grace of God, Brenda realized, was she not on the streets herself. After her husband Will had died thirteen years earlier, she’d had her own rough patch.
The end of the line was in sight, but Brenda noticed one man straggling along in last place. His scruffy face was half-hidden behind the collar of his torn coat. The spring weather didn’t require a coat that evening, but she knew the street people often wore everything they owned so it wasn’t stolen from them.
“Have a nice meal,” she said with a smile to a thankful mother of two. Next in line, the man of the family did his best to smile, but his eyes betrayed his sorrow and hopelessness. Just for him, she held the ladle over his bowl, pausing an extra few seconds until he looked up. “It’s okay, young man. God doesn’t judge us by where we live or by how much money we have in our pockets. He judges us by the faith we have in the salvation provided by His Son. Go on, now. Join your family.”
“Thank you,” he said, his eyes a little wider.
Then, the last man arrived at her station, and Brenda felt her mouth drop open. It was Steve, her eldest son! He might’ve tried to hide his face in his coat and move through the line unnoticed, but Brenda guessed he saw the look of recognition on her face. His shoulders slumped.
“Steve!” Brenda felt herself panting. She wanted to lunge over the table and hold him as she had forty years earlier. “I didn’t know you were back in town.”
“I’ve been here about a month.” He bit his lip, like he had since junior high. “I was laid off in Austin. Amber took the kids and went back to Kansas. I tried to make it work, Mom, but, well, I’ve returned a failure.”
“You’re not a failure.” Brenda shook her head, barely holding back a sob. “You just need a fresh start. Beginning with this, huh? Go find a seat. I’ll come find you after I make my rounds.”
Steve held up his tray, trying to steady his trembling. His hands and fingernails were filthy, but he was back home. Had he known where to find her? Maybe only by accident had he come to her soup kitchen on Mother’s Day. By the looks of him, he probably didn’t even know what day it was. But that didn’t matter. She would mother him along with the rest of the people in the room. Her son had returned home!
Mother’s Day Short Story #3
Dear Friends, maybe Mother’s Day for you this year is about reconnecting. Maybe it’s time to reconcile. Sometimes, when we think we need to find people who are missing in our lives, we’re really the ones who need God’s hand of help and humility, His help to be found.—David Telbat.
The Missing One
by D.I. Telbat
Caleb Irwin stared at his childhood home, not believing it had been abandoned. A broken foreclosure sign, years old, hung on a chain next to a mailbox that still had their family name. But no family lived there any longer.
For a few minutes, Caleb walked around the outside of the boarded-up house. Weathered graffiti had been splashed across one wall. The lawn was tall and brown, but Caleb remembered when it had been green—a perfect wrestling mat for him and his brothers. And on the side of the house where the old oak once stood, he remembered his father pushing him and his siblings on the swing, laughing until they were in tears.
In the house, their father had taught them Bible stories, and every Saturday night, they had played table games until bedtime. Caleb had learned about God during those years. He’d even memorized verses and attended Sunday school with his brothers.
But those had been different times . . . innocent times . . . simpler times. A time before the family’s grief had grown larger than their love for one another. A time before their selfishness had pushed each other aside.
Caleb returned to his Mercedes at the curb. Before he climbed in, he noticed a neighbor raking leaves in his yard.
“Excuse me. Do you know what happened to Marcy Irwin? It’s Mother’s Day. I was hoping to surprise her.”
“Surprise her?” The older man leaned on his rake. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I’m her son. I’m Caleb Irwin. I grew up here.”
“No, I don’t think so.” The man tilted his head. “I’ve been here twenty years, and I’ve never known Marcy to have any kids.”
“Oh.” Caleb felt the man’s words cut to his heart. “Yeah, I was out-of-state for a few years.”
“Maybe you’d better move along, mister.” The neighbor started raking again. “There’s nobody here who remembers you, even if you are who you say you are.”
Caleb climbed into his car and drove away, angry at the neighbor’s words. Who did that guy think he was?
Downtown, Caleb pulled into a lot and parked. He decided to search the Internet for a funeral that may have taken place for Marcy Irwin. His fingers trembled as he typed in his mother’s name. How could he not have known his mother had lost the house? Twenty years! He scowled at the search results. None of them were about his mother. She was still alive, somewhere.
Unwilling to leave town without some sign of her, Caleb began to visit the shelters throughout the city. He couldn’t believe how many shelters there were—so many that he left his car parked and simply walked along the street. The homeless were everywhere, and a sickening feeling grew inside him as he continued from site to site. Between shelters, he crouched to look under the cardboard and sweatshirt hoods of people who slept on the street.
It was unthinkable, he thought, that his own mother might have been living on the street, while he’d been living in a mansion in Florida—with a summer lodge in Pennsylvania. For years, he’d been a public speaker, inciting ambitious business men and women to follow his example, inspiring countless people to throw themselves into their jobs, even to abandon those who held them back.
Shame gripped him, as if the God from his youth was stirring something awake inside him. Twice, he stopped to lean against a building, wiping at sweat that seemed to materialize around his nose. No, he realized—they were tears.
In one shelter, hundreds of homeless had been crowded into a room that spanned nearly an entire city block. Caleb strolled along one aisle, after buying his way in past the front security guard. The smell of mildew and body odor had bothered him earlier in the evening, but now, hours later, he no longer cared. This was where he belonged, in a garbage dump like this—not his mother!
Then he found her. Like the others in the room, she slept with all her clothes on, an army blanket pulled up to her chin. Her boots sat beside her cot, the laces tied to the thumb of one hand, so they weren’t stolen.
Caleb rested his hand on his mother’s shoulder and shook her gently.
Her eyes opened–eyes full of hurt, confusion.
She didn’t seem to have much more than her boots. Caleb untied the laces from her thumb, tied the laces together, and hung the boots over his shoulder. Then, he scooped her up in his arms, and carried her away from the cot.
At the door, the guard stepped into his path.
“You can’t take anyone out of here!” the man said, his hand on a nightstick. “You’re crossing the line!”
“She’s my mother.” Tears ran down his cheeks. He couldn’t believe how light she was. She was so small. “I’m taking her home.”
“But . . .” The man hesitated, looking from Caleb to his mother.
A slender, wrinkled hand reached up from the bundle in his arms and touched Caleb’s cheek. The guard interpreted the gesture for what it was: a mother touching her son. He moved out of the way.
Caleb set his mother in the front seat of his Mercedes. He realized that he’d found his mother, but that wasn’t really how he saw it. His mother hadn’t been missing. He had been the one missing. But now he was found.
We pray you’ve enjoyed these Christian Mother’s Day Short Stories. You can read other stories by D.I. Telbat on this page, some of which are Mother’s Day stories from the past.
PRAISE: As last week was the National Day of Prayer, it brings us joy to share with you one way that God answered prayers. A couple of weeks ago, we shared with you about three American volunteers serving with Vision Beyond Borders by sharing God’s Word in Laos. The three were detained for several days but because of the prayers of many, they were finally deported and are now safely back home! We praise the Lord for how He worked even in these circumstances, and officers were reached with God’s Word in ways they would never have been otherwise. The following is an excerpt of some of the testimony shared in a recent VBB newsletter:
While the team was detained, they had opportunity to share with the officers who were questioning them. One seemed interested beyond the point of merely regulated inquisition. He was asking them sincere questions about Jesus and Christianity. Questions that no other officers were asking. After the team would answer a question, the man would sit and think deeply about it then ask another… And so, it went on until the team was relocated to another area for more questioning. But the team has not forgotten this searching soul. They are continuing to pray that the officer would realize the truth about Jesus!
Another amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness was shared by a team member after returning home. He recounts the day when they were deported and they had to sign their final documents acknowledging the amount of materials they were carrying, while also acknowledging that the materials would not be returned. As the team member proceeded to sign the document, he couldn’t help but notice that the recorded number of MP3 Audio Bible players was 3 less than what they had initially been carrying with them. He was trying not to smile as he signed the document, remembering a time when another team had similarly been caught and witnessed officers secretly taking the materials for themselves to read or listen to. He was reassured that God had clearly brought him to Laos to witness to the officials, an opportunity that not many people have.
Just like Paul the apostle, the team was brought before officials and individuals that asked them the reason for why they did what they did. They did not deny the fact that they came to show the Love of Jesus and teach others about Him.
Pray for Christians in Laos and that God would bring a revival to the hearts of the government leaders! Prayerfully consider joining VBB on a trip to share God’s Word, or help orphans, or minister to women in the Red Districts. Visit the VBB trips page here.
COMING UP: Join us next time for David Telbat’s Author Reflection, “Comparing Jonah in the Bible with Character Levi Caspertein.”