Now that Story is a toddler, acquiring boo-boos is an almost daily occurrence. And these words are spoken by me with equal regularity- "Do you want Mommy to kiss it and make it better?" Her reply is always an enthusiastic, "Uh-huh."
Before I became a mom, I thought it was silly to say things like that to children. Of course mommy's kisses can't actually make boo-boos better. Now that I have a little one of my own I know better.
This Mother's Day I am reflecting upon the responsibility that God has given to Mothers. First the responsibility to grow and bring forth a life. Then, the daily duty of dying to self in order that someone else feels your love. And finally, the responsibility of letting go of someone you love with all of your heart- so that they can choose for themselves the direction in which they will go. To be called to motherhood is to be called to mirror God Himself in the life of someone you cherish- how powerful.
To have the opportunity to mother, and to carry out that role with whole-hearted acceptance and dependence on God is one of life's greatest joys. There is healing in it. Both for the little ones who receive that love, and for the mommas that get to give it.
But the opposite is also true. How painful it is for those who can no longer turn to their Mother for healing when life, inevitably, wounds them. Perhaps because she is no longer here on the Earth. Perhaps because her own wounds cause her to inflict more pain than she heals- with her words, her actions, her distance. And how painful, also, for those would-be Mommy's who haven't had the chance to bring forth life and nurture it- even though it is their hearts greatest longing. Our pastor said, in closing today's service, that we should be mindful that there are many for whom this is a painful day. Amen.
God of grace, grace that is sufficient to heal. Thank you for showing us yourself through Mothers. Thank you for giving us the ability to love beyond ourselves, out of your grace and strength alone. Today, I give you thanks for my mother, and for the ways in which she has shown me You. And I give you thanks for the chance to be Story's mother, and I ask that she would, above all, see You in me. And I lift up those who cannot reach out to their mothers today, for whatever reason, to love them and be loved by them. May your infinite love be enough. And for my dear friends who long to be mothers, will you give them the desire of their heart. Amen.