Billy’s Mission

As we approach Mother’s Day, I want to tell you another story.  It is a story of a mother who witnessed a miracle – a miracle that started with her six-year old son, Billy.  Perhaps some of you mothers out there will remember some stories about your children and they, too, will either bring smiles or tears of joy.    

This was one of the hottest days of the summer.  It had been almost a month without rain.  The crops were dying; cows had stopped giving milk.  All the creeks and streams were long dried up.  It was a season that, looking back, had bankrupted several farmers.  As a wife and mother she would watch her husband and his brothers go about the difficult process of getting water to their farm.  Recently, the process involved taking a truck to the river and filling it with water, but it was a very expensive process.  And now even the river was getting low.  If they didn’t get rain soon all would be lost.

It was on this day that this mother learned the true lesson of sharing, and witnessed a true miracle with her own eyes.  She was in the kitchen making lunch for her husband and his brothers when she saw her six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods.  But he wasn’t walking with his usual carefree abandon of a youth; he was walking with a serious purpose.  She could only see his back, but it was obvious he was walking with great effort, trying to be as still as possible.  Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, Billy came running out again toward the house.  Mom went back to making sandwiches, thinking that whatever task he had been doing, was now completed.  Moments later, he was walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods.  This activity went on for nearly an hour – walk carefully to the woods, then run back to the house. 

Finally, curiosity got the best of her and she crept out of the house, following him on his journey, but being very careful not to be seen, as he was obviously doing important work, and didn’t need his mommy checking up on him.  He was cupping his hands in front of him as he walked, being careful not to spill the two or three tablespoons of water held in his tiny hands.  She sneaked closer as he entered the woods.  Branches and thorns slapped his little face but he did not try to avoid them for he had a much higher purpose.  As she leaned in to spy on him she saw the most amazing sight.  Several large deer loomed in front of him.  Billy walked right up to them and she almost screamed for him to get away for a huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close.  But the buck didn’t threaten him – he didn’t even move as Billy knelt down.  It was then she saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in her son’s hands.  When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house as she hid behind a tree.  She follower him back to the house to a spigot connected to an empty tank.  Billy opened it up all the way and a few drops of water began to slowly come out.  He knelt there, letting the drip, drip slowly fill up his makeshift “cup” as the sun beat down on his little back. 

Then it became clear to her – the trouble he had gotten into for playing with the hose the week before and the lecture he had received about the importance of not wasting water.  And that was the reason he hadn’t asked for help from his mother.  It took a minute for the drops to fill his hands.  When he stood up and began the trek back, she was there in front of him.  His little eyes filled with tears – “I’m not wasting,” was all he said.  As he began his walk, she joined him, this time with a small pot of water from the kitchen.  She let him tend to the fawn and stayed away.  After all, it was his job.  She stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart she had ever known working hard to save another life.  As the tears rolled down her face began to hit the ground, other drops and then more suddenly joined them.  She looked up at the sky.  It was as if God, himself, was weeping. 

Some people will probably call this a coincidence; it was bound to rain sometime.  And no one can argue with that.  But all this wife and mother would say is that the rain saved their farm, just like the actions of one little boy who saved another life.  From what I could learn, this story is true and I retold it to honor the memory of little Billy, who was taken to heaven much too soon, but, as Billy’s mother put it, “not before showing the true face of God in a little sunburned body.”  I liked this story and I think it is very appropriate for Mother’s Day.  I hope you do too.  Happy Mother’s Day.

Sincerely, Scotty