The other day I while waiting for mini van at the car wash I met a young mom. She had a young child who was sleeping in his stroller. My car needed a little extra TLC so I struck up a conversation with this mom. I shared a little bit about our journey. I started out talking about how my daughter is a miracle child because my husband had cancer right before we conceived. When I finished, she said that her two year old son was a miracle as well. She told me that she had hidden her pregnancy from her family. She had no prenatal care during her entire pregnancy. Her son was seemingly perfect in every way. Then she told me that this wasn't the end of the miracle. It turned out that her precious boy had spilled hot water on himself. She showed me his burns. She showed me his skin grafts. I told her how sorry I was for this unfortunate accident. We talked about how he had received fantastic care at a burn center at a hospital in our county. I asked her how long he had been at the facility. Two months was the answer. Then I inquired as to how long ago since this occurred. My ears heard, "We've only been home two weeks." My heart ached for this sweet mom. I could tell how much she cared about her son. Then she said something that shook me to my very core. She shared that she had been very depressed while her son was recuperating. She met a young woman who had third degree burns over her entire body. The burn victim's own mother had tried to kill her by putting her in hot water on purpose. She gave hope to this mom by saying that, "If I can move on past my scars and have faith, then you can move on past your son's." I had to choke back tears at this point.
Right about that time my car was finished. I ended this encounter by telling her that my daughter and I would be praying for her. I too, encouraged her to move forward. I told her that people might say things, but none could be as worse as she already felt. She needed to continue put the past behind her and love on her sweet boy.
I share this story to say that we never know the stories that others have to tell. I took the time to listen to another's story. I'm glad that I did. I hope that I was one of many individuals who would offer this mother encouragement not shame or judgement.