Another year and James returned to his Mom’s home, the place where he first learned his values of life. It was his annual retreat; this time, he was even more determined to make this trip. So much had conspired during the pandemic. The children were being home schooled. Laura was working from home while he worked 12-hour days with little time off. These life changing events had not been much different from others that they knew. Throughout this, he stayed in contact with Mom through telephone conversations. This week off, would give him that physical check on Mom. He could already taste his Proverbial Mom’s cornbread, greens, and candied yams.
James was grateful for Mom’s church family who had provided an additional support system, during the pandemic. Even though James and Mom could facetime each other, it was not the same. Looking in her eyes would tell him all he needed to know – that she was well.
The list of chores that normally awaited him were quick, simple, small tasks. Their talks, on this trip, varied from conversations about his Dad, job, family, college days, and world events. Like all the other trips, this one was filled with good talks and even better eating. The only thing that troubled him was having to leave.
The night before James was to leave, he fell asleep in the den watching TV. Mom dared not awake him; she watched him snore with the “lungs of his father.” She smiled. She thought, “When you were seven years old, when Dad and you fell asleep like this, I would awake you both. I could pick you up and carry you and gently lay you in bed. Not now, my son. Now, you can pick Mom up.” She paused to thank God for this moment, how he was keeping James. In a few hours, James will leave for home – physically – yet, always in her heart. It was time to write letter #23. Mom returned to her room, sat down at her desk, and began the letter.
True to form, upon his return home, James anxiously took the letter from his suitcase. This time, there was also a folded, wrinkled piece of paper inside the envelope. James began to read the letter before opening the folded, wrinkled piece of paper that was inside.
My Dear Son,
I continue in prayer for you for wisdom and understanding from God. God is Truth and Truth is everlasting. The Father of righteousness sees you. He is not slack in His understanding. He knows the matter of every soul, every cause and effect. No man goes unpunished.
I caution as the Word says, “Do not rejoice when an evil man falls. The same Lord is at hand. If you faint, in the day of adversity, your strength is small. When you help another see the error of their ways, you increase in knowledge and build up wisdom.”
“As you live, you will see stranger things; your heart will bleed about perverse things; you will be struck by the increases of unfaithful men; and those who after power to hurt the poor; their vomit stinks; their gluttonous is as a drunkard fool.
But my son, you must eat honey because it is good; the honeycomb is sweet to your taste. Your hope will not cut off because it is the Lord who continuing prepare your meals. He fills your life with precious and pleasant riches that comfort your soul.
Remember, the Lord will restore your soul; He will lead you by still waters that will not overtake you. Calamity is not your course of life; it is not your path for God has promised the righteous prevails.
A man who walks in the counsel of the Almighty and do not sit in the seat of the scornful, he is blessed – No matter how it appears.
Power given to man through fear is fleeting; unstable; which makes the man unstable in all his ways; It breaks the bones of those who gives it. It increases falsehoods; it is built on sand; it takes counsel among weak men. It flourishes among darkness. Help comes from the Lord to give strength.
Power given by the Lord lifts the light of the soul; it puts gladness in your heart. It produces in summer, fall, winter and spring seasons.
The earth is the Lord’s and all its fulness; the world and those who dwell in it. Though one may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you do not fear because the Lord is with you.
No man can go in his own strength. He does not breathe on his own.
It is God who allows your days upon this earth. It is God who is the judge of those days.
My son, fulfill your days to the honor of His glory and He shall direct your path. Your steps must be at his command.
Anger is part of living; so is sadness and love. Count on God’s love that overshadows any other.
His love is timeless; His grace is sufficient even in unpleasantness; His mercy is new every day because of who He is. He has established a plan that no man can foil. His arms are not heavy from any load or burden. His hand is over all of mankind. He measures right from wrong that cannot be changed.
Remember the poem you recited at age twelve for your school play – I kept it all these years. I am now returning it to its rightful owner.”
“Invictus” by Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Stand on your faith in God, my son, who has empowered you for this journey.
Your Proverbial Mom