The Exhausted Mother and the Kind Stranger

Posted by on Apr 30, 2012 in Faith | 2 comments

Once upon a time there was a mother, and the mother had a baby, and the baby had reflux.  The baby was a delightful baby, but the reflux caused her great pain that was only relieved by nursing around the clock and sleeping upright in the arms of her mother, who had to sleep upright in a chair all night every night to make this all possible.  In addition to the baby with reflux, there was also a two year old.  The two year old was a delightful toddler, but a toddler none the less, and her little emerging will caused her to act in some ways that further exhausted her already tired mother.  There was also a husband, a delightful husband of course, but years of his own trials and difficulties caused him to experience his own brand of exhaustion and numbness.  And there was a house, a delightful house, that had sheltered the family for seven years but that had been sold and was now being packed and left behind.  All of these things, the hurting baby, the challenging toddler, the worn out husband, the never ending trials, the packing up and moving out of a home, made the mother an Exhausted Mother.

One day this stressed, hurting, discouraged Exhausted Mother sat with her delightful but hurting baby in a group of wonderful women who loved her.  A new woman, Kind Stranger, was in the group that day who didn’t know Exhausted Mother and had no reason to love her yet, but as the group ended she approached Exhausted Mother and started talking.

“Hi,” she said, “I’ll walk with you to your car.”  Kind Stranger carried Exhausted Mother’s car seat and delightful but hurting baby to the car and loaded them inside.  This small act of kindness gave Exhausted Mother a little boost of energy.

“I don’t want to pry, but it seems like you have a lot going on and I wanted to see if you’re okay.”  Kind Stranger’s eyes were kind and her smile was genuine, and she put Exhausted Mother at ease to share a little of what was making her so exhausted.  As they talked, Exhausted Mother realized that Kind Stranger was able to see her so clearly because she had been through the exact same trials, had felt the exact same exhaustion.

After Kind Stranger and Exhausted Mother had talked for some time, Exhausted Mother got in her car and drove away.  But she didn’t feel so exhausted anymore.  She felt…encouraged.  And understood, and less alone, and very loved.  Exhausted Mother would not have known where to begin asking someone to help her that day, but she knew how to receive help and encouragement when it was offered…it just took someone to see her, someone who was able to see past the surface, a woman who had eyes to see because she had endured and overcome struggles and exhaustion of her own.

“God, use this difficulty and exhaustion in my life to make me softer, more loving, more able to see people, more like You,” Exhausted Mother prayed as she drove.  “And thank you for the privilege of these trials.  They feel just awful, but I see that they also produce something.  They sift out pride, self focus, unforgiveness, fear.  They increase sensitivity to other people, faith in You, strength on the inside of me.  Open my eyes to see the exhausted people around me so that I can give the gift of kindness.”



  1. You are such a wonderful inspiration! I can relate so much to your blog! Thanks for reminding me that many of us are going through similar things!

    Keep writing….I love it!!

    • Thanks, Steph! I so appreciate you reading and commenting!

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