Who came up with just one day to say, “thanks, we love you,” to the woman who is first in our affections? What kind of card or gift do you get for the women in your life who perform death defying feats and leap tall buildings in a single bound? My mom cleaned barf, taught me to talk to fireflies, and better yet dared teach me how to talk to the living God. How is one day enough to say thank you for that?
The hearts of women around the world beat fast with compassion, they stand in the gap with the smallest and weakest, they teach and sing and love. Womanhood is a mighty force. A God given role to nurture, birth new life (whether physical or spiritual), and support.
I must say, Mother’s Day makes me uncomfortable.
My heart always flinches on that day. What about the women who haven’t birthed babies, no matter how much they want to? Or the children, of any age, who have lost their mothers? Or what about the children who have suffered at the hands of women who should have been comforting instead of wounding? Seems harsh to have a special day that highlights their sorrow.
But I dislike Mother’s Day for a more specific reason than that, or maybe because of a specific person. Most of you know that I’ve traveled to Serbia twice in the last couple of years, many of you also know about Cedo – the blue eyed boy who stole my heart. I struggle with Mother’s Day because on that day, just like every other, Cedo lies in a bed separated from his mother due to his disability and a lack of resources. Mother’s Day makes me feel like a failure because I know Cedo exists. If there was one thing I could do in this world before I died, were money and time not obstacles, it would be to restore Cedo to family. If I had the power I would give Cedo a mother. Whether reunite him to his own or become her myself.
Some days I succeed in erasing the happy squint of his blue eyes from my mind. Other days every smell and sound of a Serbian institution floods my senses, my heart. I’m not sorry. It’s a gift to bear God sized burdens in prayer. Some wounds I don’t want my heart to callous over. Some need to stay fresh in the mind. For now the only labor I’m capable of is prayer and only the memories draw me back to beg the Father for a home for the homeless.
So go for it. Buy your mom a beautiful card, some perfume, take her to dinner, and by all means tell her you love her. But be uncomfortable as well. Be pregnant with the children of the world who have no home, labor with God in the injustice of brokenness. Be uncomfortable because you know there are women aching for what you have, there are children separated from their mother’s, there are mother’s agonizing over the children they’ve lost. And in that discomfort, act. Pray for those in your life who will be hurting on that day. Get involved in the life of a child who has been abused or abandoned by their mother. Be a comforter to those who mourn. And let’s thank God for the gift of mothers who nurture us spiritually, physically, and emotionally – whether our own or someone else.
Women, let’s rise up and embrace our role of motherhood with fresh eyes. Motherhood is more than a uterus thing, it’s a heart thing. Life birthed from the Spirit is eternal. There is a whole world waiting for rebirth.