As I write this it is almost Mother's Day. That day we are to celebrate the women who gave us life. Some of us are close to our mothers. Some mothers have passed. Some have two mothers, the one who gave birth to us and the one who raised us. Some of us have mothers we would prefer never to see again. But we all have mothers in one form or another.
My mother turns 90 this year, but you would never know it if you met her. She is active although admittedly slower than in previous years. She is well read. She stays engaged both physically and mentally. She is active in her church, the gem society, and a beading circle where she makes jewelry. For the past ten years or so she has been part of a study to find out why some people develop Alzheimer's and some don't. She went to her annual study recently and they are amazed by her. They can't believe how well she does on their tests. Her only health issue is a touch of asthma.
I admire my mom. She has been through a lot in her life. She gave birth to five children. She worked full time in a time when moms didn't do that. She was a preacher's wife. Then she was divorced. She finished raising my younger sister and then set out to live life on her own terms. She remarried fifteen years later and moved to California, first Monterey and then San Diego, with her husband. Her husband died six years ago and we all thought she would fall apart and be in a nursing home within a year. But she just keeps going. She and my brother just got back from a trip to Yosemite.
That is not to say that there have not been times in my life that my mom made me really angry. We had terrible fights when I was growing up. And although I was a perfect daughter (or at least I thought I was at the time) she would purposely do things to make me mad and drive me crazy. But we always found a way to reconcile sooner or later.
Maybe your experience is different. I have a good friend whose mother is diabetic and bipolar. Her mother wears her out with her needs. Another friend has a mother who cannot cope with any issue and is constantly in need of help with even the smallest decisions. Another friend’s mother died when she was very young and she grew up quickly having to care for her younger brothers. I understand that not everyone has an earthly mother to celebrate on this day.
But you always have a heavenly one. We usually think of God as a father but did you know that there are motherly attributes of God as well? Read these verses:
Matthew 23:37 NRS
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"
Isaiah 66:13 NRS
"As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."
God cares for us like a father and like a mother. God gives us all we need. With my mom I can be really mad and yell and a few minutes later put my head in her lap and have her forgive me. God is no different. Sometimes we are mad at God. We rail and scream and proclaim our nonbelief but God is always ready and waiting for us to come back. Sometimes we feel like God is very far away but in reality it is us who has moved not God. All we have to do is come back. So on this Mother's Day let us remember not only the earthly mothers but also the heavenly one. The one who is the same over generations and centuries and ages. The one who is with us always -- ever present and ever forgiving. God will provide strength, comfort, and protection for all life holds for us. And that's Good News!