- RENEW AMERICA - Rev. Mark H. Creech - MAY 8, 2022 -
There is a book I came upon years ago simply titled Mothers. The volume gives short biographies of the mothers of one hundred prominent men and women of various time periods and nationalities. Their names were chosen somewhat at random and are household names like Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro, Benjamin Franklin, Adolph Hitler, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Vladimir Lenin, Florence Nightingale, Josef Stalin, etc.
As the forward states, “Some of their mothers turned out to be considerable personalities in their own right, some are almost nonentities. Many…never lived to see their child’s triumphs. Others not only shared their success, but even contributed directly to it. Others, in turn, were obstacles rather than stepping stones to their child’s achievements. Fame usually comes later in life, and until it is achieved, no one thinks or records very much about mother…More is known about the merchants whom Rembrandt painted than about his mother.…”
Although the book offers no opinion about what effect these mothers had on their distinguished children, the implication is that the role of a mother is profound.
For instance, the mother of Al Capone, one of the most ruthless gangsters in American history, always insisted: “Al’s a good boy.” Capone’s mother seemingly viewed her son through rose-colored glasses and likely never corrected or disciplined him. The mother of Martin Luther King, Jr., the primary figure in the American civil rights movement, used to tell Martin repeatedly, “Always remember you are just as good as anyone.”
A mother’s influence is beyond estimate. If you doubt this, consider the elevated position Christianity gives to Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was the queen of mothers. From the few faint lines of Scripture we have about her, we can see she was highly favored by God, lauded as pure, submissive, industrious, and modest.
I do not believe in giving Mary the same reverence my Catholic friends do, but I can appreciate their exaltation of motherhood via Mary’s example. Mothers play a strategic part in shaping world history.
Consider the following powerful testimonies from famous people about their mothers.
John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president, said: “All that I am, my mother made me.”
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth U.S. president, said: “All that I am and hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist, declared: “All that I ever hoped to accomplish in life, I owe to my mother.”
Napoleon Bonaparte, the incomparable military general and emperor of France, was a sage when he claimed, “Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons.”
Benjamin West, the British-American who painted famous historical scenes, said: “A kiss from my mother made me a painter.”
The inventor Thomas A. Edison stated: “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt that I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”
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