A Jack in the Pulpit for Mom

My dad needs his own blog.

He wrote this for Mother’s Day for his church newsletter and I liked it, so I’m just going to post it on behalf of the blog he ought to have.  I think it says something true about all of our moms…

A Mother’s Day note from Pastor Don Furrow:

A Jack in the Pulpit for Mom

My third grade teacher wanted us to be more than a mathematical and chemical machine that knew all of the mathematical and chemical formulas of life [little chance of that for me and my friends!]. So she properly took it upon herself to ensure the global community that we would also have a love for the arts and be artfully thoughtful of others. Thus, we would be a part of the best that humanity perpetually has to offer. It was only natural, with some natural prompting from our teacher, that we should express love and appreciation to those choice people who brought us into this material wonder that we call life: our mothers! Her stratagem was as follows.

First, we were told that Mother’s Day would be the coming Sunday. Second, we were told that this was a time when we should honor our mothers because of their loving kindness toward us. Third, our teacher explained that it was customary to give one’s mother a card, some flowers and, sometimes, a special gift. However, since we had neither the time nor the money to go purchase these things, we were going to make a near all-in-one gift. We were all going to make our own Mother’s Day card with a flower on the front and a poem inside. To make it all the more personal, we were to select a flower that Mom would like and draw it on the face of the card. Then, we were to compose our own poem and write it inside the card. The bonus would be that this accomplishment will make us both thoughtful and artful; prepared to take our useful place in society as the renaissance men and women of the mid twentieth century! All of that from McKinley elementary school! Amazing!

Well, we set about looking at pictures of flowers that our teacher had found in magazines. I kind of liked the idea of a Dandelion, but I was told that it was a weed and not a flower. Can you believe it? With my first choice being rejected at the start, I selected the next closest thing. I chose an Arisaema triphyllum, commonly known as a Jack in the Pulpit. Rather fitting don’t you think?

I set about drawing the flower and, in both total honesty and humility, I did not do a bad job of it, given the paucity of natural artistic talent. Having accomplished that task, in style, I set about coming up with an original poem. First, I went over the facts in my mind, and I decided that Mom not only needed a card and flowers, but she also deserved a gift. I quickly concluded, however, that the teacher was right: I had no money for a gift, or for the flowers and card. Furthermore, without a job and its consequent payday, I was condemned to remain in this helpless estate!

In the face of my helplessness, I immediately plunged into the dark pit of despair, ceaselessly reminding myself that without a job I had no money. Without the money I had no purchasing power. Thus, without the purchasing power I had better put together a third grade Mother’s Day card and forget about the box of chocolate covered cherries that Mom loved as dearly as life itself. [I may be waxing hyperbolic here, but not by much!] With my lamentable state in view, I was suddenly inspired by the spirit of the poets themselves.

First, the facts: no job, no money, no gifts. Second, I must turn these lamentable facts into something of poetic beauty. Voila:

Oh say there now

I want my pay

To love my Mother

On Mother’s Day

There you have it. Its poetic beauty cannot be diminished by the fact that it is ten lines short of a sonnet. After all of these years this masterpiece still speaks to the heart with power! Right? Never mind.

It was with great pride and impatience that I gave the all-in-one gift to Mom on the Friday before Mother’s Day. She opened the gift, read it, smiled, hugged me, thanked me, and tucked the card away. Later that evening, I saw Mom and Dad looking at the card with something of a smile to be seen and a chuckle to be heard. I concluded right there, that I was not a poet and I would never do anything like that again. End of story. Not quite.

Some forty years later Alice and I and our two children went to visit my mom. During the visit she opened an old wooden jewelry box that I had not seen for decades. There she was, taking different articles out of the box and placing them on the nearby coffee table. Suddenly, she had in her hands a piece of yellowed construction paper with a drawing of a faded green Jack in the Pulpit. Even though I was taken back by it, I recognized it almost immediately.

“Mom, is that the Mother’s Day card I made for you when I was in grade school?’

“Yes it is”, she said with something of a warm smile on her face.

“I thought you threw that away not long after I gave it to you.”

“Oh no,” she said. “I take it out and read it every now and then.”

I have noticed something about my kids’ mother: She can walk into a closet and come out with a picture drawn with a Crayola on aging construction paper. She will sit down on the edge of the bed and look at that drawing with warmth, fondness, and love. She does this even though it is not a product of one of the Dutch masters, and that’s because it is more than that. It is something that her son or daughter drew close to forty years ago. I guess that is what mothers do, and for that reason, among so many more, “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her…. [Proverbs 31:28]

We love you, Mom!

– Don Furrow

My kids mom saves those memories too.  They are very precious.  I love my mom and my kids mom very much!  Happy Mother’s Day!

Version 2

Version 2


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