Mother Becker's story has had a personal impact on me. I am inspired by Abigail Becker's selfless concern for others, her willingness to risk all to meet the needs of someone else. God placed before her a chance to forever change the lives of seven men and make a lasting impact on her world, and it was right outside her front door. Not only that, but she stumbled upon it in the process of going about her regular duties as a mother. I am humbled by the realization that every mother, including myself, has an opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. To believe otherwise is to entertain a lie. 

President George Washington, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, Union General Ulysses S. Grant, President Theodore Roosevelt, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, and Noah Webster each had a mother to nurture, care, guide, teach, protect, and love them. These were great men who performed great deeds, their names and exploits forever recorded in history's hall of fame, but each one had to start as a small child. Their first steps had to be encouraged by someone. Their feverish brows had to be wiped by someone. Their questions needed answering, their energies needed channeling, their minds needed challenging, and their faith needed nourishing. It is up to God what role our children will play in the days to come, but it is up to us to do our very best to prepare them for that day. Who's to say that the spirit of heroism is not needed for the daily grind, or that one self-sacrificial act for those within our circle of care will not have a greater impact on the world some future day?

I am also reminded of what Jesus Christ did for me. He had the heart of a Savior, selfless concern for others, willingness to give all for them. He saw me sinking on my ship of sin, swam out to me in the freezing cold water, and carried me to warmth and safety. He loved me enough not to leave me there. He is still there, on the edge of a vast expanse, venturing out in frigid, tempestuous waters to rescue needy souls. 

Thank you, Mother Becker. Years after your heroic deed, I am inspired and encouraged, reminded of the heart of a mother and the salvation of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God grant me the strength, courage, and stamina to follow in your footsteps, to see those in need of a hand, some warmth, or a life-giving word, particularly if it is one of my own children, and may I be willing and able, through God's grace, to meet that need.

When she awoke on November 23, 1854, Abigail Becker had no idea the difference her life would make. What difference will I make today? 


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Gretel Deem cherishes the gift of motherhood and the 4 treasures within her household, her husband and 3 children.  She enjoys homeschooling, writing, reading, an occasional good movie, and is determined to continue calling out, "Swim!  I'll fetch you to shore.  But swim!" 

Originally published in the May/Jun '09 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine.