Since I write my blog posts at least a couple of weeks in advance, I usually try to consult my calendar for significant holidays or remembrances coming up that I should acknowledge. Well, I must admit this practice lapsed recently – I failed to take note that Mother’s Day was coming up.
So first of all, I want to wish a belated happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. In the nation’s capital we have a memorial to the “unknown soldier,” but if there were a statue for unsung heroes, mothers would have to featured prominently.
As a father and grandfather, I have some understanding of kids.
But like all other men, I can’t fully comprehend what it means to be a mom. Not only the pregnancy part, the nine months of carrying a little life in the womb until it’s ready to present itself to the outside world – even though that’s very significant in its own right.
I’m thinking of the unique bond mothers have with their children, being there when little Jimmy or Jeannie falls and suffers an “owie.” Running to the rescue when a child awakens from a nightmare. Transforming into a nurse when the little one gets sick. Going the extra mile to provide for whatever the child needs, whether it’s help with homework, washing clothes, or even teaching how to tie shoes. (Some kids still do have shoes that tie, don’t they? Ones without Velcro?)
Yes, fathers can do many of these things, too. Hopefully I’ll address that in June. But there’s something about a mom that a dad can’t replicate. When there’s a single-parent home, the majority of the time that parent is called Mom, Mommy or Mama. I can’t even imagine the sacrifice many mothers make, not only to be present to tend to their children’s needs, but also to work more than one job to make ends meet.
My mom passed away more than 45 years ago to heart disease. Many wonderful experiences with her are hidden deep in my memory bank, but I can still recall some of the ways she tried to encourage me.
She, not my dad, was the one to first play catch with me so I could at least become a mediocre Little League ballplayer. When I was ill and stayed home from school, I could count on her to run out and buy comic books for me. I still remember the LPs she would play of old religious songs by the likes of Tennessee Ernie Ford, Perry Como and others. (I know some of you are probably thinking, “Who?”) I suspect some of the first seeds of my spiritual journey were sown as I heard those melodies.
If I have a regret in my relationship with my mother, it’s that once I started college, I became fiercely independent from her, determined to “cut the apron strings.” I’m sure she would have liked for me to call much more than I did, leaving her wondering – and worrying – about what was going on in my life. Yes, it was in the days before cellphones and there was actually a charge for every phone call; but I still could have done better. Sadly, it’s too late to say I’m sorry for having been so self-absorbed.
Ephesians 6:1-3 makes a stunning declaration about how we should relate to both our moms and dads. It says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’” I wonder how many sons and daughters, failing to observe this command, are not realizing the fulfillment of this promise?
Today our nation is facing a great conflict which, at its heart, concerns the privileges – and pressures – of motherhood. The U.S. Supreme Court is reportedly on the verge of announcing a critical decision regarding abortion and the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Some will simplify this issue as “a woman’s right to her own body” or “women’s reproductive rights.” However, even though I’m not a mom, I think it’s fair to state it is much more than that.
Psalm 139:13-14 declares, “For you [God] created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb; I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” God, according to His sovereign will, chose to have women serve as the holy instruments in which He would take a sperm and egg and fashion them into a special, uniquely gifted human being. Some see this as a terrible burden, but to the Lord, it’s intended as a blessing beyond description.
This idea is not confined to a single psalm. Speaking to Jacob and His people Israel, and extending this assurance to people even in the 21st century, God said, “Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant…. I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants…’” (Isaiah 44:1-8).
If you’re a mom, Mother’s Day may have passed, but the incredible and awesome calling God has placed on your life remains. He has entrusted you will the care of a child – or children – for whom He has a very special plan. Thank you for the unique, wondrous role that only you can play in their lives!
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.