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What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

Happy Mothers Day!

May 8, 2011
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor , The Herald-Star

My mother had never been so mad as that day.

Never.

Don't get me wrong, I had made my mother mad plenty of times during my 17 years on earth.

But, not like this.

And all I could do was sit and take it.

I was kicked out of a high school basketball game earlier than evening in my senior year for giving a referee the one-fingered salute.

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We pray for blessings

We pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need

Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom

Your voice to hear

And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near

And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us

When darkness seems to win

We know the pain reminds this heart

That this is not, this is not our home

It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy

And what if trials of this life

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are Your mercies in disguise

I was kicked out of the gym, for that matter.

The coach just told me to go home and we would talk later.

When I got home my mother blitzed me.

I knew I had it coming and there was nothing I could say.

I kept my mouth shut, for one of the few times, and took the tongue lashing like it was meant.

My mother was mad for what I did.

But, what bothered her was something that was said in the gymnasium as I was leaving the place.

Two men sitting in front of my mom made some sort of comment on how I was raised. They didn't know the lady behind them, who could hear their conversation, was my mother, and the one who did the raising.

"I could handle what you did," she said. "I couldn't handle what they said."

Yep, I still remember the conversation.

I went to school the next day and was told by my counselor I had been kicked out of school until a meeting with my mother, the principal and the coach.

That was two days later.

In the meeting the principal basically said I was off the team for good and had to be a good little boy for the next six weeks in order to be able to run track.

The coach said nothing.

Neither did my mom.

I sure didn't say a word.

When we left the meeting the coach turned to my mom and said, "If there is anything I can do for your son, please let me know."

My mother turned to the 6-foot-8 coach and said, "You had a chance to help my son in there and you kept your mouth shut."

My mother then turned to me and said, "And, you keep your mouth shut if you want to run track."

That was it.

My mother, after taking me behind the woodshed, took the coach to task and then was back at it with me.

Seven years later my mother passed away from cancer.

There's no higher calling than to be a mother.

Your tender spirit, loving ways and intuition is something us men don't have or understand.

My mother was there to give me loving hugs and lay it on the line when I was being an idiot.

My mother was there to hear no excuses and expect the best out of me.

My mother was there to call my bluff, show me the correct path and make sure I called her if I was going to miss curfew.

My mother was there to make sure I was respectful.

My mother never talked to coaches about playing time, or lack thereof.

My mother never talked to coaches about their philosophies.

My mother never talked to coaches about how hard they were working us.

And, if I came home and complained about any of those things, she wanted no part of the conversation.

She told me it was my choice to play and my choice to work hard or not and the more I worked the more I would play.

My mother never talked to teachers about my grades.

They were my grades, not hers.

I miss my mom.

I miss that she missed out on four grandchildren - three great boys and a precious girl.

My wife had no clue the rollercoaster ride she was in for when she said "yes" and "I do."

She is a great wife and mom who has to put up with way more than she ever thought possible.

After all, she has a 17-year-old daughter, a 14-year-old son and me.

That, right there, is a life of mystery and love.

The things my mother taught me in that one lesson is something I try to teach my children and those I am around daily at Jefferson County Christian School.

It's about the heart.

It's about understanding that what you do affects others in ways we will never know.

It's about doing the right thing and not excusing stupidity.

It's about making kids accountable for their actions and not letting them get away with what they shouldn't.

It's about realizing that things don't always have to go perfect to learn a lesson, to teach someone or to help others.

Failure is not a bad thing and success doesn't come easy.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be reached at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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