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McCoy: From a mother's heart
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"Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there. When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, “They don’t have any more wine.” Jesus replied, “Mother, my time hasn’t yet come: You must not tell me what to do.” Mary then said to the servants, “Do whatever Jesus tells you to do.” John 2:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

It’s amazing how mothers have a way of knowing us much better than we know ourselves. I can remember when I was little, my siblings and I would secretly dream up some hair-raising scheme to have fun, usually at the unforeseen detriment to one of us. And without knowing what we were up to, Mom would undoubtedly step in at just the right time to say the 1960s equivalent of “Don’t even think about it!” How did she know what we were scheming? I never really understood, but somehow I seemed to inherit her sixth sense for sniffing out trouble that was brewing among my own boys. After hearing silence where there had been clamor and laughter, I always knew something was up. So after the appropriate amount of silence, I would step in and say the 21st century equivalent of “Don’t even think about it!” And the response was usually something similar to “Aw Man!! How did you know?”

No one is as good at reading me as my mom. She has always been able to tell when something was bothering me or when I was going through a tough time. And she has always expected the most from me. No one has believed in me like my mother. Mom couldn’t always be at the try-outs and performances when I was in school, but you can bet that she came to every one of them that she possibly could on her work schedule. She always wanted to hear about my day, and she always wanted to know that I had enough food and other provisions when I was in college. She taught me the best way to pack suitcases for camp, a skill I use to this day as I teach my own kids how to pack their bags to leave home. And I never left to go on a trip when she didn’t shed a little tear, another habit she has passed along to me.

At times, our kids can drive us mad, bewilder us, puzzle and perplex us, make us proud and make us cry, and sometimes that’s all in one day. But you can bet that when they are out of our presence, they are remembering those times that we believed in them even when they didn’t believe in themselves, the times that we told them they could do anything if they tried and stuck to it, and the times that we prayed for them, even when they couldn’t pray for themselves or maybe didn’t feel like they needed it. Even Jesus needed a little prompting from his mom from time to time, and yes, Mary believed in him even before the world knew him as Savior. She watched him grow, kissed his skinned knees, and prayed for him just like we do for our kids. And she never stopped believing in him just like our moms never stopped believing in us.

Thank you, Mom, for believing in me, and thank you, God, for mothers, the nurturers you put in our lives to teach us how to follow you. Amen.

Rev. Jan McCoy is the Associate Pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at or at