In honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, I offer a song, a prayer and a reminder.
The 23rd Psalm
First, I again share with you this masterpiece by Bobby McFarrin. Maybe I'll share it every year. It's so good!
A Prayer for all Kinds of Mothering
Second, this Mothers Day blessing adapted from a prayer that was shared around social media a couple years ago and which I found posted by Sarah Bessey on facebook, based on a post by Amy Young here.
May you know the blessing of a mothering God...
if you are like Tamar, struggling with infertility, or a miscarriage.
if you are like Rachel, counting the women among your family and friends who year by year and month by month get pregnant, while you wait.
if you are like Naomi, and have known the bitter sting of a child's death.
if you are like Joseph and Benjamin, and your mother has died.
if your relationship with your mother was marked by trauma, abuse, or abandonment, or she just couldn't parent you the way you needed.
if you've been like Moses' mother and put a child up for adoption, trusting another family to love your child into adulthood.
if you've been like Pharaoh's daughter, called to love children whom you did not bear.
if you, like many, are watching (or have watched) your mother age, and disappear into the long goodbye of dementia.
if you, like Mary, are pregnant for the very first time and waiting breathlessly for the miracle of your first child.
if like Hagar, now you are mothering alone.
if motherhood is your greatest joy and toughest struggle all rolled into one.
if you are watching your child battle substance abuse, a public legal situation, mental illness, or another situation which you can merely watch unfold.
if you like so many women before you do not wish to be a mother, are not married, or in so many other ways do not fit into societal norms.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if you see yourself reflected in all, or none of these stories.
You are loved. You are seen. You are worthy.
And may you know the deep love without end of our big, wild, beautiful God who is the very best example of a parent that we know.
Mothers for Peace
And finally, if you are still reading, a reminder. The origins of Mother's Day was the intention that it be a day for peace an unity. It's creator was Ann Jarvis who wanted to continue the work of and honor her own mother, who had witnessed the devastation of the American Civil War and worked to heal bodies, spirits and communities broken by it. Ann was joined in her campaign to have Mother's Day recognized as a national holiday by suffragette Julia Ward Howe who wrote the "Mother's Day Proclamation" including this memorable quote:
“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
Happy Mothers' Day. In the name of the one God who mothers us all.