When mom called me last night, she was perched on metal bleachers – in a freezing Pennsylvania drizzle – watching her oldest grandson play a college lacrosse game. She had driven over six hours to be there. My mom does things like that. My mother has always done things like that.
My mom is the kind of parent every young child deserves, and I use the word ‘deserve’ very carefully. With all my heart I believe that every child deserves a secure space – a warm and safe cocoon – because they are deeply and completely loved by a mother.
All little ones deserve to hear a mother’s voice delight over them. Not one should fear about what tomorrow holds, because they are certain a mother will be there with them. All will be well in the dark and the night – she will never let them go.
What this world would look like, I wonder, if each and every child had a mother who was wholeheartedly FOR them with every bit of her body, mind, soul, and strength? I think it would look more like heaven.
My mother isn’t perfect, but God knows she is good. She is the kind of parent all (ahem) strong-willed children need. Every toddler (and then, ten years later, the same stubborn teen) needs an equally tenacious mother – a lioness – who is fiercely devoted to her young.
What would this world be like if each child had a vigilant advocate? One who would never stop hoping, praying, forgiving, or thinking the very best for her beloved? I think it would be a lot like heaven.
Because good mothers replicate the infinite goodness, mercy, and welcome of heaven to all those in their care.
Even now, so many faithful women – mothers by blood or by spirit – are busy living out God’s kingdom come to their people. They create and sustain safe and sacred places where all souls can unfold to the sun. These mothers may not all be honored or celebrated this Mother’s Day – but they are a part of something holy and eternally good.
I also know that some of you did not know or have a good mother. Perhaps you didn’t have the safe childhood you deserved as a young child. Maybe you didn’t have the advocate or protection you needed. I am so sorry. The world is broken, and groaning, and not yet as it should be.
But your love and faithfulness to this next generation can set a new course. The chaos and disorder can end with you. The vicious cycle can be eternally disrupted by your kind of love.
Because you are quietly busy ushering in light, and life, and real hope for your people. You bless and keep those in your care. You provide a pocket of heaven with your love.
Of course there is no perfect mother – God surely knows! But don’t beat yourself up over all the things you aren’t or all the ways you lack. Because one day soon you might find yourself far from home, sitting in the cold rain, cheering for someone you have committed to always love.
Because love is what you do. Making the world more whole – more holy – is what good mothers always do.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours.