I was not just taught to respect my elders, I was the kind of kid who desperately needed to do the right thing to gain their love and approval. I loved my mom. Fought for her. Needed her.
So now that I am an adult and a parent it is painful for me to realize how terribly off-kilter my relationship with my mother was. I did not see clearly how frayed and diminished her feelings for me were but I did live in fear of her temper. The kind of fear you might have if you were the guy hit by lightning five or six times. Always looking over your shoulder. Always afraid of the storms.
So Mother’s Day is a bit ambivalent to me. Not just because I am too stubborn to just look at the bright side. I also have some interesting experiences as a fostering mother, an adopting mother, and a losing mother.
But one thing is clear: God is my mom. His voice was there before I knew what to call Him. He nurtured me, loved me openly without reserve, and sent people to me who loved me voluntarily so that I would know that I could be loved. That I was lovable.
I use the past tense because now I know.. Growing up I constantly doubted. How could I be lovable in light of my mother’s warped mirror?
She sees me a monster. He sees me his little girl. I have learned to cling to that, To run to Him in grief and in joy. To acknowledge the treasure of His surpassing love.
And gather the evidence of His boundless love–all His little ones scattered abroad.
Each one of us…