There’s been a lot of internet traffic this week about the need for society/pastors/everyone to be more sensitive toward those in our midst who are not mothers on this Mother’s Day. Honestly, it’s left me feeling a little sheepish about showing up to church this morning kids-in-tow.
I would never want anyone to feel offended, but at the same time, I wonder if the hurt we feel on Mother’s Day isn’t something to look at carefully. I’m not sure the solution is to tone down Mother’s Day, since gratitude towards Mothers and all things tender and caring feels at an all time low in the world today.
I keenly identified with the many articles I read about would-be moms, single moms, moms of prodigals – feeling left out of something natural and beautiful. The longing, anger, and guilt they feel. I feel something like that at weddings – when the Father of the Bride gets up to gush on the bride about how privileged he feels to have walked through Fatherhood with his darling daughter. When he recounts the funny memories and tender moments they’ve shared – I always tear up. I feel a deep, deep ache in my chest because I didn’t get that moment at my wedding. Little bursts of loss, jealousy, and disappointment race across my soul, but I celebrate alongside these families and maybe even more so because I know it’s precious – Father-Daughter love. It should be lifted up with lights and music and flowers and dancing. My pain proves that.
Similarly with Motherhood. Mourning what we don’t have or can’t have or something lost – it happens to all of us on all different kinds of Sundays, and for the most part – feeling pain is exactly what we should do. Pain leads and is a symptom. Pain reminds us to pay attention and ask questions. Will this pain end? Will it transform me? Am I grieving well? Am I getting the help I need? Why Lord?
All I’m saying is avoiding and stuffing and tip-toeing doesn’t help, really. If today is a painful day for you, I hope the Body of Christ comes around you, as it has me on other Sundays. I know you won’t begrudge me my home-made card and I won’t ignore your tears.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone!!