“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” --- Mitch Albom, “For One More Day”
My favorite book is “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom, and Mother’s Day is the perfect time to read it because it is the kind of book that can change your life. Often on Mother’s Day we think about how we have lived and what impact that has had on our mother. We may have regrets and wish we had done things differently.
“For One More Day” is a true story about a man names Charley Benetto and his mother Posey. When he was little his father tells him he must choose – he cannot be a mama’s boy and a daddy’s boy too. Charley chooses his dad and worships the ground he walks on until he disappears when Charley is eleven. His mother steps up to raise him alone but Charley is embarrassed to be part of a broken family. Like many kids, he wishes his mother would leave him alone and one day after he is grown, she did. She died.
Years later Charley’s life is wrecked by alcoholism and anger. He loses his job and his family. When he hits rock bottom, he decides to go back to his hometown and end his life with a gun. Driving drunk he wrecks his car in his old neighborhood and stumbling away from the accident he sees his mother standing there. The rest of the story is what happens when Charley gets to spend one more day with his mother in his childhood home. He has a chance to make things right with her. In the process, he learns things about his mother that he never knew, discovers family secrets, and understands the sacrifices she made more clearly. In the way only a mother can do, she helps him pick up the broken pieces of his life and begin again.
The most important moment in the story happens when Charley realizes that his mother had already forgiven him. When I got to the end of this book the first time I was on a crowded airplane, and the tears streamed down my face when I realized that his mother had already forgiven him. God opened my eyes to see that mothers love their children unconditionally and want to forgive them. It is natural. God made mothers that way. At that moment I knew that my mother who passed away in 2004 wanted to forgive me and had already forgiven me too. I could not stop crying on that plane. I know the people around me must have wondered what was wrong, but I was freed from guilt and shame that day by receiving my mother’s forgiveness.
The closest thing on earth to God’s love is a mother’s love. Mothers look past our faults to see our needs and so does God. Like mothers, God wants to forgive us and has already forgiven us too through his son Jesus. His forgiveness is yours on Mother’s Day and every day.
Did Charley Benetto really spend one more day with his mother between this life and the next? He says he did, and it changed his life. In checking the details of his story, the author was convinced that it is true. If you would like to get your own copy, it is available at most bookstores or you can order one online at www.amazon.com.
Rev. Smith is a member of Emanuel Reformed Church of Lincolnton and Associate Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church in Hickory. She can be reached at 828-962-8196, firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 3311, Hickory, NC 28603.
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