Yes, I’m aware this is a few days late. Bear with me, I’m cycling down right now. Energy is low.
So, Sunday was the day Americans have set aside to celebrate the women in their lives that have given them birth, reared them, reared their children, been their mentors or important female role models in their lives. Or any mixture of the above.
A mother is the first teacher a child has. So many sayings reflect this. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” is one of the first that springs to mind. Another, from one of my favorite movies, The Crow. “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.” Paul speaking to Timothy in II Timothy 1:5 “5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” The bond between mother and child has become the human standard by which all other loves are measured. “The face only a mother could love.”
I imagine the struggles of Mary as she watched her son, Jesus, grow from His miraculous birth through his upstart twelve-year-old’s debate with the Temple leaders. Such embarrassment for a mother! Rearing a sinless child couldn’t have been easy. Not that anything she did contributed to His perfection, but dealing with the consequences of a Child Who never lied, never disobeyed, never stole a cookie, was never cruel, never, ever broke ANY of the commandments. Whew! Then, when He was a grown Man, at a time when most His age had families and children of their own, He started wandering around the countryside preaching blasphemy and sedition, hanging around with (reformed) harlots and publicans. When she and her other sons went to perform what we would today call an intervention, He denied them as family. Matthew 12:46-50 “46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Heartbreaking!
We know she, if not his brothers, eventually came to be one of His followers during His life. Where else would a mother be at the ignominious death by crucifixion of her beloved eldest Son, but at the foot of the Cross, standing next to His most beloved disciple, whom He commanded to take over her care for the rest of her life, making sure she would have safety and comfort in her old age, which He would not be here on Earth to provide. Commanding her, His most precious mother, the one chosen by God the Father to bring forth the Most Precious Gift of All Time to turn to John for the physical comfort He as her eldest Son could not provide. I can only imagine the depths of love and apology in His eyes as He spoke those words. John 19:26-27 “26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”
For my own mother, I sent her a bouquet last week. I wanted to do something extra because it was the first Mother’s Day without her mother. When I called on Monday to make sure she would be home for the Wednesday delivery, I got a five-minute lecture about how poorly I was handling my finances. There was a two-word thank you when she posted the picture I asked for on Facebook, to make sure the bouquet I ordered was the one she received. I had the card signed as from me and my cats as a light-hearted attempt at humor. When I called on Sunday, she let the call go to voice mail because she said she and Dad were visiting with a woman in the nearby nursing home who had invited them to dinner “weeks ago”, but when my friend, who also calls my mom, “Mom”, (her mom is still alive and doing fine, I have no problem sharing) called 10 minutes later, Mom picked up. I don’t know if my brothers called or not. When I called again later in the day, she explained why she hadn’t picked up and I forced the conversation to a lengthy 15 minutes simply by virtue of not shutting up until I had caught up on a few things with her. She said she knew I’d call back and wasn’t worried about missing the call.
Happy Mother’s Day.