Thursday, 24 September 2015, would have been my beloved mother’s 78th birthday. She passed away on 12 June 1997 at the young age of 59 years, just before the noonday hour, after losing her battle to breast cancer. At the time of her passing, I was serving on active duty in the United States Navy, stationed in the country of Iceland. Before her passing, I was blessed to come home on military leave to spend 30 days with her. Those are some precious days that I will always cherish and remember.
Here I share with you a loving tribute that I wrote to my mother, Frances Mae Harmon Brown in 2009. She was indeed the best and the most positive influence for good in my life. She was my very first and best school teacher in the school of life. I love her and miss her very much. She was not only my mother but a very dear friend. The picture above is the last picture that we had taken together.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word witness as a person who has observed an individual event; a person who testifies to this observation. The dictionary defines the word testimony as evidence; an oral or written statement made under oath. Throughout her humble life, my mother saw many events and was a living testimony that God is still God in spite of how a situation may seem. Even during her illness her testimony remained genuine, and her daily prayer was “Jesus, comfort my heart’s desire to work and speak and think for thee, that others may see Christ in me”. When so many others may have just given up, my mother held on to the blessed promises of God’s infallible Word realizing the fact that “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.”
There are so many people under the misconception that to be a testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ you have to brow beat people with the Scriptures. They see every situation in life as an opportunity to impress people with their limited knowledge of the Scriptures by quoting partial Scriptures (often out of context) or by preaching a sermon that only falls on deaf ears. The person or persons listening to their rhetoric realizes that the messenger does not live up to the words of his or her message. The truth of the matter is, the Lord is not looking for people who only have lip service as an offering, but rather He is looking for individuals who are genuine. The Lord is looking for people whose hearts are pure and who love Him with all of their heart, with all of their soul, with all of their strength, and with their entire mind.
My mother’s heart desire was to be the person that God would have her to be. She did not have to quote Scriptures or preach sermons to people whose paths she crossed, but she allowed the life that she lived to be a “living testimony.” She fully understood the true meaning behind the Scriptures found in Matthew 5:14-16:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Because of the life that she lived and the example that she endeavored to set, my mother gained the unmerited favor and respect of those that she met along life’s way. In fact, she was so much admired and respected by her co-workers that they would lovingly refer to her as “Mom” when they would see her.
The life that she lived was a reflection of the type of person that she was. No matter where she would be, she never changed. She did not practice one type of behavior in public and another in private. One thing that I can say about her is that she was consistent. Through the example of her remarkable life, I have come to understand what it is to be a “living testimony.” I thank God for blessing me with this one so dear, and I sincerely realize that there will never be another exactly like my mother in all the world. She was not only my mom but a very dear and faithful friend. I love her, and I miss her very much. Her testimony will live on forever.
“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means that she’s only growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her heart of purest gold;
“E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together; they spell “MOTHER,”
The very word Mother means the world to me.
–Howard Johnson (c. 1915)