As a way of explaining that motherhood has been a bit of a rocky road, let me just say that I had an allergic reaction to that zygote's fetal cells, which, as it turns out, is not that uncommon (and if you don't like skin rashes, don't click that link).
Some Mother's Days are like this:
And some Mother's Days are like this:
I preached a sermon two years ago on Mother's Day called "Tolerating God". It was a good one--the highlight for those of you who won't click through:
And another sermon from Mother's Day 2009, which isn't my favorite, but I wrote this:
Abide in my love. Tolerate my love. Dwell in my love. And as I have loved you, love one another. Abide with one another, tolerate one another, dwell with one another. Abide in my love. Let us gather our stories under this tent this morning and offer them to God. Let us feel the absence of those who could not be here today, and let us offer that to God too. For a moment in this hurried, complicated, frightened life, let us sit still with the fullness of our lives and the fullness of God’s love, and let us tarry awhile. Let us abide in God’s love.
What I’d like to honor this morning is not the easy breezy Hallmark card Mother’s Day we see on TV, because it’s not that easy and breezy most of the time to be nurturing and caring for others. Mariam’s bold statement to the angel of the Lord, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word,” is not meek or humble statement. It is a declaration of responsibility and love—a willingness to accept joy, but also grief. So many of us lose our children before we are ready, and so many of us lose our mothers before it was their time. To love and give birth to life is a complicated activity.Well, it's complicated, all right. And this year more than most. I'll be one of those in church this Sunday flinching every time someone chirps "Happy Mother's Day!" and/or asks me what I'm doing special for it. But I'll be in church, because I bring all my joys and sorrows to church.
I'll call my mother, because the Lord knows she has shed tears over MY worthless hide.
And then I'll let a friend of mine take me out for a meal and mother me until the shattered pieces of this really awful year come together to form a new shape of life still yet to live. No pressure, or nothing, but I really am expecting that from dinner.
Well, anyway, for those of us struggling with Mother's Day this year, feeling like the complexity of loving our offspring is overwhelming, this song has been on my mind. The scene where he's snuggling the dead fish makes me laugh every time.