LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, 1853—Amelia Taylor and her son walked up the gangplank together. 

His steps were eager; hers were not.

Hudson Taylor gave his mother a tour of the ship and showed her the cabin where he would spend his six-month voyage to China.

Amelia smoothed the covers of his small bunk with shaking hands.

Before she left the ship, Amelia knelt down and prayed over Hudson. Although her voice was reduced to a raspy whisper, her beautiful words never left his heart. They comforted him for many years as he ministered in China.

It was the last prayer Hudson heard before leaving his life in England behind.

Amelia tried to restrain her emotions as she gave him a final hug. A few tears escaped and ran down her cheeks. She wiped them away and forced her mouth into a quivering smile.

As the ship pulled away from the dock, Hudson stood alone on deck and watched her. At first, Amelia walked beside the moving ship; then she ran to keep up with it, wildly waving her handkerchief in the air.

When she could run no further and their separation was truly final, he heard her cry out.

Anguish exploded from her heart, cutting through him like a knife. The memory of that deep, mournful sound never left him.


When I first read this story about a mother’s love for her son so long ago, I had no idea that it had any connection to me, personally.

But it does. And I’m in awe.

Perhaps this story is connected to you, also.

Let me explain. Consider how this mother’s love was:

Sacrificial: The very hour Hudson Taylor was saved, Amelia was on her knees, praying for his young soul. Later, when he told her about his conversion, she was not surprised. Somehow, she already knew.

Comforting: When Hudson decided to go to China as a missionary, Amelia did not try to convince him to stay. Even though she thought she’d never see him again, she restrained her emotions (as best she could) to make leaving home easier for him.

Far-Reaching: Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission which recruited over 1000 missionaries to preach the gospel in China. One of those missionaries was Wetherell Johnson, who later founded Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).

God used Amelia Taylor’s love. Then God used Wetherell Johnson’s love:

In 1959, Wetherell Johnson moved to Oakland, CA and started BSF with only 5 students. Within a decade, this study spread across our nation. Eventually, it spread across the world.

In 1999, I went to BSF for the first time. . . and I’ll be forever grateful that I went.

What I learned at BSF changed my life, completely. The truths I discovered about Jesus through in-depth Bible study still inspire me today.

And I’m not alone: Bible Study Fellowship now ministers to hundreds of thousands of students every week and has impacted the lives of millions of people in countries around the world, including the Republic of China.

One mother’s love, given centuries ago, made an incredible difference, both in her son’s life and in the lives of countless others (like me).

Is anything more wonderful than a mother’s love? 

There’s only one love that is more wonderful: the love of God.

Consider how much the Lord loves you:

“For this is how God so loved youHe gave his one and only Son, so that if you believe in him, you will not perish but will have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge you, but to save you through him.” (Jn. 3:16, my paraphrase)

While a mother’s love is an earthly reflection of God’s love, some mothers fail to love as they should. If this was your experience, I’m so sorry.

But even if your mother’s love was limited, you can always trust that God’s love for you has no limit. His love is:

Sacrificial: “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”  Rom. 5:8

Comforting: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”  Zeph. 3:17-18

Far-Reaching: My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never die. No one will steal them out of my hand.”   John 10:27-28

This Mother’s Day, honor the deep, inspiring love God placed inside the hearts of mothers. Celebrate how mothers can love like no one else can. Give thanks that a mother’s love is a forever kind of love.

But above all, be sure to remember how the Lord can use the love of a mother (or anyone) to bless people across countless generations. 

Love truly makes a difference.
Happy Mother’s Day!


*Here’s something special to add to a Mother’s Day card: And So, God Made a Motherone of my most popular poems. Subscribe below for a free printable.

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