For most “Mother’s Day” is a day of joy, as we recognize the care and love of our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. But for some, that day is not a day of joy. Many are motherless. Many have a mother who has recently passed. Many struggle with the void that results from a miscarriage. Many are deal with the effects of divorce, and a mother who does get to see her children all of the time. Many live far away from their mother. Many have an estranged relationship with their mother. And, there are many other situations that I am failing to list here. Today, I hope show that a day, like “Mother’s Day” points to a far deeper meaning than just a day that motherhood is recognized.
Motherhood — the nurture, love, protection, and care — that falls within this vocation is actually a lens through which — you and me, our families, our neighbors, and the world — gets a glimpse of who God is. We are all created in the image of God — including those of you who are mothers. Your vocation is an extension of God’s image into our world. Your vocation of nurture, love, protection, and care for your children — witnesses to the nurture, love, protection, and care that God offers those he has created.
At our house there are two entry ways: one on the front and one on the side. The one on the side has an awning that overhangs a little concrete patio area. Recently, we setup a seating area under the awning. Over the past week or so, there has been a robin building a nest on one of the support beams of the awning. At first, I was trying to scare off the robin, so I didn’t have to clean her nest later. My wife, deterred me from this and wanted to let her keep building her nest. I will admit, it has been a neat experience to see the development of the nest and the life of this bird over the past couple of weeks. Over the past few days, the robin has been covering her eggs, hours on end. This robin reminds me of the many passages in scripture that speak of the care and shelter provided under the wings of a bird.
If you are reading along with us through the Bible, you probably recall reading in a few places in Psalms about the care, nurture, and protection of God. Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” In the New Testament, the image of God as a nurturer and protector is also revealed through Jesus, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)
If you are a mother, recognize that your role as a mother is far more than just for your kids. If you are child, recognize that your mother’s vocation is something that is valuable year round, not just one day a year. Her role reaches to the cosmos and makes an impact for the kingdom of God, not only in your life, but in the lives of people all around you. Her vocation is a witness to the wonder and beauty of God. If you struggle with days like “Mother’s Day” (because of the reasons I listed earlier), I hope you find comfort in God — who provides the care, nurture, protection, care, and direction that we seek. As much as our mothers here on earth can offer wonderful qualities, they can never surpass the manner in which God offers those qualities to us, his children that he loves.