Sunday’s Scripture ~ I Kings 17:8-24
I write this blog post on the eve of my birthday. Tomorrow I will be 29…and I’m thinking around this time 29 years ago my mother entered into her labor of me. I was a healthy baby – 9lbs 6oz if I remember correctly what I have been told – so my mother worked hard! As I age I find myself thinking more of my mother than myself on my birthday. That day is what it is because of how she labored for what God created.
I was a mild-mannered child, save the colic I had for what seemed like eternity! And then very quickly into my teenage and young adulthood years I found my own opinions that I expressed with my own voice. I am not sure that I was ever shy in sharing an opinion – though I have reigned that in a bit nowadays. Sometimes I would say things and my mother would look at me with a face of, “Where in the world did you get that trait?!” Certainly not from her, but she claimed me and loved me and claims me and loves me still.
Even when I say things that are the complete opposite of what she believes.
Even when I say things that push her outside her comfort zone.
She claims me. She loves me. That is the greatest gift of motherhood a child could ever receive.
Every Sunday night my mother sends me an email and they all start out with variations on this theme:
Dear Sarah, I hope your service went well this morning. I hope those gathered heard God’s word and felt God’s presence. I prayed for you and your leadership as you served.
Her prayers, her sincerity, her consistent messages – they are pure gift. They remind me that no matter how old I get, I am still her little girl. The little girl that she had to tape bows to my head for pictures because my hair was so few and so fine – you would never believe that if you saw my hair now! The little girl that she had to coax to wear tights to church. The little girl who acted tough in public but she would hold as I cried at night. That happened when I was a child. That still happens now.
My sweet mother is someone who comes alongside those who are in need and she serves diligently. She serves not seeking recognition but because she knows in her heart that it is the right thing to do. In Matthew 6:2-4 Jesus says, “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” My mother does not sound a trumpet. She gives wholeheartedly. She serves silently.
She is my example and my hero.
I give thanks that my mother is always there to remind me that I am not alone. Her companionship is a gift that I will treasure always and it is a gift that I seek to share with all of my family, friends, and the people that I serve. Our relationship is balanced: I learn from her, she learns from me; I say crazy things and she laughs. See? Balanced! I celebrate her this week as I enter my 29th year of life.
I love you, Mom. So very much.
Prayer: “For our mothers, who have given us life and love, that we may show them reverence and love, we pray to the Lord… For mothers who have lost a child through death, that their faith may give them hope, and their family and friends support and console them, we pray to the Lord… For women, though without children of their own, who like mothers have nurtured and cared for us, we pray to the Lord… For mothers, who have been unable to be a source of strength, who have not responded to their children and have not sustained their families, we pray to the Lord… Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”*
*”A Prayer for Mother’s Day,” The United Methodist Book of Worship, 438.