Do you have any idea how many websites are dedicated to little Hallmark poems, quotes, and sayings for Mother’s Day? Google gave me six and half million search results—and that was just for the poems. Don’t worry, I’m not going to use a single one.
Far from being a secret, almost verging on being a cliched proverb, is the fact that mothers do more than just give birth. But just how much more and everything they represent is harder to express. One could list off the multitude of tasks, both large and small, that our mothers have done for us and still not quite get it. A mother’s love is almost undefinable. Almost.
It’s more than cleaning the house, or working two jobs, or telling bedtime stories. It’s more than staying up late talking, or sitting there wondering where that teenager’s gotten to at this hour. It’s more than driving them to school and picking them up, attending the hockey or soccer or baseball games, and more than making dinner. It is all of these things, and yet all of them together simply can’t encompass the sum total of a mother’s love.
I said that mothers do more than just give birth. Sadly, I know it’s also possible for a woman to give birth and yet never be a mother. There are those of you who may not know or never cared for the woman who brought you into the world, but I suspect you had someone at some point who became a parent to you. Who showed you that undefinable love that only a true mother or father can give. I hope you did, and I if you haven’t then I pray that you find her soon. I know, too, that there are those in our community for whom Mother’s Day brings memories of loss and grief. I can’t imagine what that is like, but I do know that grief is born from love, and that love she showed you is a treasure beyond anything we could ask for in this world.
In our culture and in our Bible we tend to speak of God as our Father. But the truth is we could as easily speak of God as our Mother. Then perhaps what is almost undefinable can be defined, if imperfectly. A mother, however human she may be, is to us as God is: endlessly compassionate, just and righteous in discipline, and always sacrificing so that we can grow and mature into our full potential as servants of Christ. “And I pray,” says Paul to the Ephesians, “that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Let’s praise and thank God today not only for His love, but for the love of the mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and stepmothers and mothers-in-law and adoptive mothers that He has put here to shape our lives and lead us to Him.
Happy Mother’s Day.