No Mistakes

25 10 2015

I believe the main reason I saw my Great Aunt Pearl as the best teacher I had in my day was because of her ability to explain Rock _nin ways I could always understand. That included subjects that didn’t make sense that is until she explained them in the manner that only she could.

We were sitting at the table talking about my mom who had just come off a 12-hour shift at the bakery she worked for. Mom spent many a long hour there doing all she could to make a living for us. On this day when she got home she made it as far as the sofa before falling asleep from exhaustion. Pearl didn’t see a reason to wake her so covering her with a blanket we moved to the kitchen so she wouldn’t hear us. “Pearl,” I said, “I hate seeing mom like this. I wish she didn’t have to work so hard.” What I was really saying is I wish she had someone to take care of her like most of my friends who had both a mother and father. The man whose name I carry made mom a lot of promises that is until she became pregnant and he left town never to return again. She had dated a couple of other men, but never seemed to find one that was interested in a serious relationship so she chose to stay single.

Because mom didn’t make good money, even with all the overtime, we lived with Aunt Pearl. On this day she sat quietly for the longest time just staring at her coffee cup and then occasionally at me. Then she began to speak; “There was one boy who probably would have made your mom a good husband.” That took me by surprise as I had never heard of this man before now. Mom had lost her mother to cancer when she was a teenager and went to live with Pearl who raised her from that point on. “Will you tell me about him?” I asked, and she began again. “He was a boy a couple of years older than your mom who lived down the road. Hard worker who helped his dad farm and was trying to get on with the railroad; he and your mother would take long walks and I had a feeling something was brewing between them. Then one day they came to me saying they wanted to get married.” “Really?” I said with a little excitement in my voice. “What ever happened to this guy?” “He married someone else, has several kids and has a beautiful home back in West Virginia.” “So what happened that he didn’t marry mom?” Pearl didn’t answer right away, but when she did she looked me straight in the eye and said, “I told them no, they couldn’t get married.” “But why?” I questioned; it wasn’t making sense to me. Pearl continued on then, “They were too young back then, and your mom had special issues I had to consider also.” I knew what she meant, it was no secret that my mother lacked certain skills that kept her handicapped both physically and emotionally; this was another reason we lived with Pearl. Still I couldn’t help thinking what might have been; mom growing old with a man who loved and would take care of her, build her a nice home and even give her more children. Instead I could hear her snoring as she slept in the front room after an exhausting long day of hard work that paid her about a dollar more than minimum wage. So I questioned further, “Pearl do you ever wish you hadn’t told them no back then, that it was a mistake not to let them marry even though they were so young?” There wasn’t even a moment of hesitation in her voice. “No, it was the right thing to do then, and it’s still right today.” I felt just a little anger rising in me on behalf of my mother. “How can you say that with all that she’s gone through.?!!” For the first Pearl looked at me with a smile. “Had I said yes back then, we wouldn’t have you today.”

“You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman.” Max Lucado

More than once Pearl told me how tough they all had it, and it didn’t make things any easier when mom became pregnant with me. But going on she would add, “But I knew from the moment I laid eyes on you, that you were not a mistake, not a problem, you were a gift of God to your mom, and to me.” (Now argue that one, will you!)

What my Pearly Mae was telling me back then was we may not understand all circumstances, but one thing we can be sure of; God doesn’t make mistakes and He sure didn’t make one with each of us. We all have a purpose, perhaps it does not become fully clear until years later, but still we have something that makes us special.

Psalm 139:13-16 – “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

In my sixty plus years of “Traveling the Rock Road,” I have made my share of mistakes and at questioned often if I was doing the right thing. But through the simple words of someone who loved me I came to understand that I was special to certain ones and to my Lord, just like you.

Someone looks at you also and thinks, “Life without you? No Way” You Are Special!!

See ya next time.


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