My father, a good man, was out of work again; seems like that happened often when we were young. Mother, helpless to do anything about it, was really upset about this, and dad was pretty angry too, but mostly at himself. After an exchange of a few unkind words, I heard the screen door slam shut, and my father stomp off… turning to my mother I said to her, “mommy, I am hungry. What’s for supper?”
She quickly scooped me up and carried me over to the rocking chair, and began to quietly sing to me, “Under His Wings,” while rapidly rocking me the whole time. Holding me tightly, she just rocked me there for a while, quietly singing.
As she was doing so, someone knocked on our screen door; it was a neighbor, “I just brought by some fish I caught this afternoon. Could you use any?” he asked. Some fish would be lovely my mother replied. He helped her put a bunch of fish wrapped in newspaper in the sink, and my mother thanked him.
I hadn’t seen the tears, but she was wiping her eyes. She grabbed me again, holding me and sat down in the old rocker, and started singing again, “Under His wings…” After a little while, the old man who lived across the street from us, stomped his foot on the rickety wooden porch and said, “I got my arms full tomatoes, would you mind taking a bag?” “I wouldn’t mind at all,” my mother replied. “I think some fresh tomatoes would really go very well with the fish tonight. Thank you Peter!”
No sooner, had the old neighbor had walked back, and we had put the tomatoes on the counter, admiring each one for its size, color, and that pleasing aroma, that ripe smell tomatoes give when they are fresh, when a friend from church drove up, and told mother that they had just picked an extra bushel of corn down at the farm, and was just thinking of us. “Could we use any?”
My mother, was really beside herself at this point, and looking back at the whole scene now, I can greatly admire her firm bravery. With the smile on her face, and the straightness in her back, you would have thought that there wasn’t a thing wrong in the world, but as I look back now, I know that she must have been hurting pretty fierce.
When everyone was gone, I think that she got a little weak kneed, for she sat back down in the rocker again for a spell. She didn’t rock as fast this time, and she didn’t sing, just kind of kept clearing her throat.
My father came in about then, looking around in bewilderment at all the food, he just kind of stood there, mother asked if he could clean the fish, and she would get supper together.
That night, we had a feast. It seemed like it was all my favorite foods. And even though there wasn’t a lot of small talk at the table that evening, I didn’t notice, because I was busy eating.
I will never forget that song my mother sang to me. I didn’t realize the significance of what was happening at that moment, nor of the song, but as I have reflected back on my early childhood I realize that God was with us even back then. And from moments just like that, I have come to believe that he is with me even now, and will provide for my needs as his own Divine counsel wills. Has he provided for you? Have you thanked him?
Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.