This past week–Thanksgiving dinner with the family, cranberry sauce and turkey, pecan pastries, and Friday night hot pot with friends… all remind me of home and family and warmth. But one memory trumps them all, and it was the one I expected least of all. After a wedding on Saturday afternoon, my mom made me take her to the San Jose 分堂 for their Thanksgiving service. I didn’t want to go at first because I had a previous engagement with friends. Alas, one cannot simply refuse a mother’s wishes.
So I took my mom to the service… and I ended up crying from beginning to end. I was so moved, the tears just would not stop flowing. I was embarrassed to wipe them on my sleeve. What is going on? Where are all these tears coming from? After the praise and worship, some kids did a little dance performance, followed by announcements and offering. After offering, Yu-teng 傳道 shared about how important it is to honor our spiritual fathers and mothers– and this was when the incessant tear drops began.
First, he shared his own testimony about honoring his mother and mother-in-law by giving them monetary gifts. Even though it was a large sum of money (and he and his family, with two young girls, had just moved to a new city and started pastoring this new church, equivalent to their own financial needs), he insisted they take the money anyways as a sign of his honor for them as a son.
After that, he began to honor my mom, 張瑋 牧師 (Pastor Wei), for being his spiritual mother. He shared about the many times my mom had encouraged him and given him words of wisdom, and when he felt depressed and hopeless she was there to comfort him. One day, God had even spoken to Yu-teng 傳道 in a vision saying, “Honor 張偉 牧師 as your spiritual mother,” and from that day forward he always considered my mom as his spiritual mother.
The service went on like this for the rest of the time we were there. Yu-teng 傳道 honored my mom, my mom honored him, and then they honored all of the home group leaders. I didn’t see anyone else in the sanctuary crying like I was. So weird! I was confusing myself… I didn’t know why I was crying! But all I could tell my mom on our way home was, “It felt like coming home.”