I wish it were more difficult to remember some moments. I wish it were easier to remember when there was a hit and not a strike-out.
Today is Mother’s Day. I hope for each of you, this day is one where thanksgiving for your mother is not absent and a word or prayer or gift is reality.
I do believe one of my biggest mistakes happened on Mother’s Day. Some of us—who pay attention to church attendance, could say without pause the three best attended worship times were Christmas Eve, Easter and Mother’s Day. Truth.
But the personal mistake on Mother’s Day…probably should not…but I will confess. Was serving a large church—and in our denomination “large” is over 700 members. Saw in worship a church member I hadn’t seen in probably six months. She looked blank at me during worship. Refused to read that as the body language of boredom.
After the service she came through the greeting line. I saw a “baby bump,” and wanted to affirm. As I shook her hand I said, “Oh my. When’s the baby due?” The blank turned into a burning laser beam, as she jerked her hand away and almost shouted, “I’m not pregnant!”
A Mother’s Day I wish I could forget. But, hey, in ministry, no less in living, there are so many experiences that verify perfection is never attained.
There was something else that just came to me. About Mother’s Day.
We offered as strong an affirmation of the blessings of mothers and motherhood. But we never forgot the families, often claiming the day as “Festival of the Home.” Went fairly well, especially when never again did I offer a musing about pregnancy.
Yet. In each parish, especially after a couple of years, I pretty much knew there was a downside to Mother’s Day. For those who could never become pregnant, the loss of their most fervent dream. For the premature death of a mother who never experienced holding a new grandchild in her arms. For those who were not able to remember let alone experience Mother’s Day without ache and emptiness.
To those we did our best to be “there” with them. Either a visit or a note or a call…anything…to let them know as a church and congregation and pastors, we cared about them. We recognized how their day was not echoing charm and love. Why? Because of the importance of making sure no one was a victim of an errant quote or an absence of caring.
Today is Mother’s Day. Of course. I do not know how each of you is with regard to your mother. I know where and how I am. And will “visit” with my mother…for the zillion ways in which she couldn’t hide she was actually an angel impersonating a human being.
So. No matter where or how you are with regard to this day…please know in your heart and soul you matter. And, no matter your circumstance, life’s goodness and God’s presence do not have to be stranger.
Love? Yep. This day. And with God’s full mercy and presence. Every day.