Surprises from the Pulpit

A mom realizes, as her son preaches to his congregation, just how much she taught him.

Posted in , Nov 3, 2017


My husband and I have made an unexpected discovery now that our sons are grown and two of them are in ministry: We’ve become sermon illustrations. As one can imagine, that can be a little disconcerting at times.

When the story begins with “My mom…” or, "My dad…,” Paul and I have been known to sink a little lower into our seats until we see what’s about to come out of their mouths. But most of the stories are humorous, and they’re often directed at themselves.

In a few of their stories about us, our sons have shared something we told them—and often we don’t even remember telling them those things. However, it seems we did actually give them some good advice along the way.

But in a recent message by our youngest son, one of those “my mom” stories made me cry. As he preached, Jason told about a Family Circus cartoon I’d clipped and hung on the refrigerator many years before. The message of the cartoon had been that none of our problems are small to God, that He cares about all of them. 

That cartoon had blessed me, and I’d posted it on the refrigerator as a reminder to me—but I’d never even thought about the fact that it would impact the heart of one of my children. Or that he’d remember it 15 or 20 years later…but he did. 

I can’t tell you how that touched me the day my son talked about that in his sermon. You see, we never know what God will use to reach our children. And that’s a powerful reminder for all of us as parents and grandchildren. Our children might listen to what we say, but just as much (or perhaps even more so) they also notice those unexpected lessons from the little moments—from how we live our lives each day.

Lord, help me to be faithful in the little moments. Help my children and grandchildren to see You in me. Remind me that how I go about my daily life preaches a powerful lesson for those I love. Please keep me from disappointing them or You. Amen. 

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