Sunday, August 7, 2011

Betty June Dunn (March 29, 1926 - July 23, 2011)

As the song goes: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone…”

This is true with respect to those people whom God has placed strategically in each of our lives: beginning with our Mothers!

I am already experiencing a growing sense of loss as I recall my Mother, Betty Dunn. I realize more and more what a blessing she was to my life! Though her passing is such a great loss - deep inside, in my heart, her presence is still alive and well. Her kind and gracious words and the many truths she imparted to my young heart are still as fresh to me as when they were first shared.

My earliest recollections are of the sound of mom's sweet voice as she sang and read to me. I still hear all those wonderful bedtime stories that she used to teach the deeper truths of life and heart. From “The Little Match Girl” to Aesops Fables, Mom skillfully and wonderfully taught us the importance of cultivating qualities like caring, sharing, compassion, honesty, truthfulness and giving.

She not only taught them with her words, but she modeled them before us with her life.

Whether it was with her kind words, alms or her fine hand quilted pillows, my mother demonstrated to us that giving was not just a virtue to be cultivated, it was a way of life.

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he’ll not depart from it” was my mother's adage. It has certainly been proven true in my life. The older I get, the more I return to those age old foundations - to those simple but profound eternal truths that my mother planted so many years ago in my young spirit.

Thanks Mom! I haven’t forgotten. I still remember!

I cannot speak highly enough of Godly mothers in general and mine in particular. Often it is true that you really don’t know what you've got til it is gone! Day by day my admiration and thankfulness for Betty June Dunn continues to grow as I recall all that she was.

As another song testifies, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” or in today's vernacular, MOMS RULE! Indeed they do!

Please hear me when I say:

"All you mom’s are important. You are more important than you know."

I received confirmation of this truth a number of years ago when I was asked to speak to a rather large congregation in Durham, North Carolina. I was asked to bring the message on Mothers Day Sunday! I must admit I was somewhat terrified at the prospect. I knew I was expected to preach a Mothers Day message but the more I prayed and studied, the more I came up blank! As the day approached, despite many hours of prayer and supplication, the "message" did not come. Over and over as I sought the Lord, only one thing came to my mind. It was a single scripture:

“I would that men everywhere would pray lifting holy hands without wrath or dissention.”

"What does praying men have to do with Mother’s Day, Lord?" I asked, but I heard not even a whisper. Heaven seemed uncomfortably silent and I felt increasingly anxious and uneasy.

Mothers Day arrived and although I had carefully crafted a message on the power of prayer and the need for men to pray, I knew that something vital was missing. Sunday morning, after a gracious introduction by pastor Z.D. Harris, I ascended to the pulpit. I was extremely insecure about this message I was soon to deliver. I began by readimg the text. Then I prayed a simple heartfelt prayer, "HELP"!!!!!

Then I began the sermon with; "God wants men to pray... because believing prayer is powerful in its effect."

Then, suddenly, I found myself departing from my prepared script as I blurted out:

“How many men here today in this congregation believe that they owe their salvation to a praying mother! Will you stand!"

As I waited with bated breath, I watched every man in the congregation rise to his feet and begin to applaud and give thanks.”

Then I heard myself say;

“Here’s your tribute Mothers! Look around you! You’ve done your job well! Here is the fruit of you labors! Happy Mother's Day!"

The entire congregation continued to clap and cheer these faithful women of God.

So today, as we remember the life of Betty June Dunn, my mom, I stand up and say:

“Mom this is your day. Here’s a tribute to a life well lived, from your greatful son, George!"

and it almost seems that somewhere in the background I hear His still small voice say to her:

"Well done Betty, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of thy Lord."

Welcome Home, Mom!

And all God's people said:


1 comment:

  1. A beautiful tribute! Without knowing her, I know she had to be a lovely woman to make such a wonderful son. I'm sorry for your loss, and we'll continue to pray for your healing.


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