I have a friend who refers to Mother’s Day as a “Hallmark holiday.” I have to admit that I sort of agree. I once referred to Mother’s Day as “Martyr’s Day,” because it never quite lived up to those sentimental, Hallmark expectations. Since my own mother’s death in 2016, Mother’s Day has become more a day of mourning than a forced celebration. I think it was this sadness & deep missing that I felt in church on the eve of Mother’s Day.
These past few Sundays since Easter, we listened to scriptures telling of the often bumbling antics of the disciples. These men seemed a far cry from the brave purveyors of faith they would eventually become. As I sat in the pew after communion, I felt the same fearful despondency the disciples must have felt in the upper room. I offered a silent prayer riddled with my own fears and sense of unworthiness.
At the end of service the congregation rose to sing the recessional hymn, but Father asked us all to sit. Immediately, I expected someone to come up & make a pitch for a ministry or cause. It was a pitch, but not what I expected. Father asked all the “mothers” to stand. I debated not standing but knew John would not let me get away with it. So I reluctantly rose to stand with the other mothers. As I stood there letting Father’s sweet prayer & blessing wash over me, I felt again the love that surpasses all my unworthiness. I knew again that I am loved by a God whose only mission is to love us & cajole us into loving each other.
I realize now that is exactly what my mother did. An only child, she cajoled my sisters and I to love each other by her example and quite frankly her edict. She loved us into loving each other. Now as adult women, we are still as different as we always were. However, we are a stalwart four caring for our father and supporting each other as our mother always taught us. Should my world fall apart, I know my sisters will be there to help me pick up the pieces and begin again.
As I left church that evening, I was still a bumbling, fearful disciple, but I also knew I was loved and called again to love others “such as my love has been for you.”
© Catherine Hause