Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day can be Muddled

I'm having a pretty stellar Mother's Day.  I had coffee in bed (albeit in a slightly sticky mug--perhaps some sloshed on the way to my room?), beautiful roses, and a lovely hike (children complaining loud and long and clear most of the way!).

They haven't all been so took a few years for my husband to catch on to the whole holiday and I'd cry and feel sorry for myself.  Never mind the years when all three preschoolers would be wailing and pooping and I'd think the best Mother's Day gift would be a break from them all!

I can't celebrate the day without thinking of my friends who aren't mothers because their bodies just wouldn't cooperate--I long to reassure them that they are not "less than."  I want them to know that the beauty and nurture they carry for everyone around them is what we're really celebrating.

I think about my friend who simply hates it all because her relationship with her mother is so...smashed and wrecked beyond hope of anything short of a miracle.  I know her story is extreme and that many others simply struggle with a quieter sadness that their parent/child relationship isn't what they'd like it to be.

Mother's Day is another holiday that can be kind of messy...which sort of makes sense as it involves people.

The disappointments that surround the day have something to do with the deepest longings of our hearts.  We were created to give and receive nurture and comfort...because we were created in the image and likeness of God. He is the only source of comfort for those aching places.

Jesus expressed His longing to comfort and nurture...  "How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me."

Are you blocking Him out and blaming Him for your disappointment?  Or resisting the comfort He offers because you just wish it was all different?  He's the only one who can heal the broken and comfort the weary.  He has not forgotten you.

Yet Jerusalem says, "The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us."

Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible, 
I would not forget you!
See I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

One of my friends writes stuff on her hands all the time.  She never forgets if she writes it there.  I really like the idea of my Papa with the letters of my name carved on His palm.  I love knowing that His love for me is even bigger than the love I received from my mom.  I really, really love knowing that His love is so big it will make up for the places my parenting is lacking.

My kids' names...your name...carved on the palms of the hands that formed the mountains, that paint the sunrises, and hung on a cross.

Matthew 23:37
Isaiah 49:15-16a