The Day After
All fanfare is done. Restaurants recover from the busiest day of the year. Florists sweep away forlorn bouquets that weren’t pretty enough to get picked. Drugstores stash away the picked-over greeting cards. Maybe they’ll get recycled next year.
For many women, it may not have been a joyous day of celebration. Perhaps no one feted them like “Queen for a day!” It may have been a day predictably mixed with pain and complexity.
Because some women were Almost Mothers, Wished To Be Mothers, Used To Have Mothers, or Used To Be Mothers.
Some women serve as both mother and father for their children, because of deployment, divorce or even death.
Some women may never a receive a hand-drawn card, or a spontaneous hug from their child: physical or developmental disability –or other impairment– has “disabled” or severed the relationship.
Some women are Mothers Proper, yet never feel adequate. That persistent Mommy Guilt Gland never shuts off, even on Mother’s Day. The holiday only underscores the nagging feeling we’re never doing enough to justify Queen Treatment anyway.
Some women debated skipping church, dreading the moment when mothers in the congregation would be asked to stand for a moment of recognition.
All are women who nurtured precious and lofty expectations for motherhood. Only to deliver stillborn dreams.
“Who am I that You are mindful of me?”
What a remarkably sensitive, exquisite and anointed way to authentically honor all women who celebrate, mourn, pray, grieve, miss, wait, regret and yet still dare to hope on this day!
His mercies are new every morning.
As a special needs mother — and friend to many more who may never hear, “Happy Mother’s Day!” from their non-verbal children— I felt deeply included by this hug from heaven. It was a tender yet powerful expression of God’s affirmation and mindfulness for those of us plagued by a constant sense of otherness.
We Are Not Invisible
For the woman who feels left out, passed by, or picked over by all that Hollywood and Hallmark propagate that Mother’s Day should be, the God of the universe sees us. Just like He saw Hagar, discarded and destitute in the desert, He is still the El Roi God who sees the disregarded, who are feeling altogether alone in our pain.
The One familiar with suffering, He who whispers to us in our pleasure and shouts to us in our pain: He sees us. We are not invisible to Him. Somehow, while He keeps the planets spinning, the earth from trembling, and the nations from warring, He also keeps in mind the single mom, the almost mom, the used-to-be mom, the used-to-have-mom, and every grieving woman in between:
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
~ Psalm 8:3-5
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
~ Isaiah 49 : 14-15
The second Sunday of May doesn’t have to be a Happy Mother’s Day. But in God’s economy, it can always be a blessed one. And for that I am grateful.
*** If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to Subscribe to receive new posts via email***