By Judy Brandon: Local columnist
One Mother’s Day many years ago, I got in trouble at church for talking during the Sunday morning service.
I was sitting in the balcony of the old church at eighth and Hinkle. The church was packed that day, but Mother’s Day was not on my mind. I had just gotten braces on my teeth the week before and I was eager to show them off to my friends.
So when Daddy got up to preach, I viewed the huge crowd and the packed pews and thought that I would take the time to show off my braces to my friends. I figured daddy would not notice because he would be preaching. Mother was sitting in her usual place in the foyer because she greeted the visitors.
I suppose that day daddy read a Scripture about godly mothers on that day. I don’t remember. But after he read the scripture, I nudged my friends on both sides of me. I grinned big to show them my full set of braces. I tilted my head back, opened my mouth and let them view the shinny caps and wires. I showed them the rubber bands and pointed with my finger to interesting things in the back of my mouth. I stuck out my tongue so they could see the back of my mouth. I went through the entire braces process I had experienced at the dentist office the week before — from impressions to cement to caps to wires. My friends on both sides sat and listened to the details, all the while wanting braces on their teeth. I was so proud to have braces and talked the whole length of the sermon, explaining, showing off and doing my mouth just right so they could get the full benefit of a new set of braces.
My reasoning was that daddy would be busy preaching and he would have no clue what I was doing. I thought that in that crowd, I would be unnoticed, and anyway, mother couldn’t see me so I was safe.
I was surprised when I got home.
We sat down to eat Sunday dinner and the first thing daddy said to me after the blessing was, “How did your friends like your new braces?” I stopped eating. He had seen me. He had noticed my talking. The best laid plans on my part had failed.
Then mother said: “Judy, you need to be careful. People come to church — not to hear about your braces. More important, you may have been a distraction for someone else. That is the Lord’s time. You need to remember that.”
I felt terrible. That was all she said, but I learned my lesson. I may be a stumbling block to someone. I may be so caught up in promoting myself, showing off, and thinking only of me that I cause someone else not to see the bigger picture, the God I serve and the Lord I love.
Well, today my teeth are straight thanks to the sacrifice of mother and daddy. I learned a valuable lesson that Mother’s Day. Someone may be watching. We don’t want to get in the way of the bigger picture, the Christ we serve. Mother reminded me that at times, we may be stumbling blocks. That was all she said.
Mother gave me some wise words that Mother’s Day and I have never forgotten them. I learned to try and keep my mouth shut and my mind on the message.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: