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Service with a Smile

By Caron Cline

Burke Countycaron cline burke county pleasant hill baptist church


Mother’s Day is observed each year on the second Sunday in May to celebrate the sacrificial love and commitment shown by mothers toward their children. In my own experience, the word ‘mother’ is synonymous with ‘servanthood’. I do not remember one morning during my childhood and adolescent years that my mother did not cook a large breakfast which included meat, eggs, toast, and cereal. She was convinced that proper nutrition was crucial for the brain to retain the information gained in the classroom. Every evening we also gathered around the table for a great Southern home-cooked meal. I generally took these meals for granted until I was old enough to realize that not everyone had the gift of cooking. Partaking in substandard cuisine left me longing for home.

My mother was also willing to sacrifice her time in service to those outside the family. My dad was a pastor and for some time, visited the Caldwell County jail twice per week. On one particular visit, a man sentenced to a short stint in the jail asked my father if he would keep his four-year-old daughter until he was released. My parents did not know this man nor had they ever met his daughter, however, my mother graciously agreed to welcome this child into our home. The extra care and attention required by a neglected four-year-old must have been quite a sacrifice, especially since I was about 9 and my brother was two years younger. Yet, my parents lavished this little girl with love and grace. We have no idea where she is today, but I do not doubt that my mother made a difference in her life.

In 1976, my father was called to be the pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. This required a move; therefore, my mother chose to resign from public employment and partner in ministry with my father. Naturally, this meant less income for the family but it was never discussed in my presence. Many years later, my dad shared with me that for a few winters my mom sacrificed a warm coat so that my brother and I could have one. What a portrait of a selfless mother! We also lived next door to the church in the parsonage. People would pop in and out throughout the week during those early years of ministry. My mother always had a made-from-scratch cake available to those who crossed our threshold. On top of that, I cannot count the times that my dad invited unexpected guests for Sunday lunch. Somehow my mom always seemed to find enough food for everyone.

Hospitality is definitely my mother’s spiritual gift and she always offered selfless service with a smile! My mother is now 80 years of age, but in the last ten years, she has been involved with Jaime Torres Ministries, an organization focused on supporting prisoners and those bound by substance abuse. In fact, she inspired the formation of the ministry. This multi-generational and multi-cultural group affectionally refers to her as Mama Cline. Although her health has slowed her down in recent months, she is still a vital part of mothering an incredible group of people. Her greatest desire is to be healed for the express purpose of serving others. Many times, I have heard my mother echo the words of John, the beloved disciple, when he said, ‘Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth’. (1 John 3:18) My mother, Meredith Cline, has not grown weary in doing good and someday she will reap an abundant reward!


Caron is a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. She loves to teach the word of God.

Her desire is to see every believer grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

You can read more Christian News from Caron HERE.