Our Quest for Faithful Presence
Dear St Luke’s,
This Sunday, the USA and a handful of other countries will celebrate “Mothers.” More than 50 countries – world-wide – have a similar celebration at various times throughout the year, and rightly so… few, if any roles are so demanding, often thankless. Which I suppose is part of the reason for the institution of Mother’s Day.
It’s also a complicated day for many. I am one of those people for whom the observation of Mother’s Day is fraught with some complex emotions. Gratitude and grief, longing and loving, desire and disappointment.
I’m also mindful of those who yearn to be moms but can’t. I’m mindful of the particular journeys of adoptive mothers, and mothers whose babies are raised by others. Or of those who have recently lost their mom. Or moms who have recently lost a child. I’m mindful of people who never knew their moms or what memories they have are marred by pain and sadness. I’m mindful of those estranged from their mom’s. And I ache for all the moms who will not be treated to brunch, or receive a card, or a phone call this weekend. Mother’s Day can be complicated for some.
It might be helpful to acknowledge, that the idea of “a perfect mother” is a myth… yet another impossible standard womxn are all too often held to. Behind the role of “mother,” is a womxn, a little child, a person with their own story, desires, hurts, and imagination. Every mom is making the road as they walk it, just like the rest of us.
To feel life grow inside one’s body and then to experience new life bursting forth from one’s own body is nothing short of mind blowing. The very idea of surrendering to the intrusive journey of pregnancy is surely a hero’s journey; from hormonal shifts, to internal organs being compressed, from changes in blood sugar, to eating habits, and simply watching one’s body transform entirely out of one’s control… so much strength and courage. Let alone the navigating the social, career, and identity upheaval of becoming a mom. Then there is the delivery; so painful and so demanding that the best word we could come up with to describe the process was “labor.” After the birth comes the feeding, the sleepless nights, the raising, the worrying, the seemingly endless process of letting go, and everything else… and that’s when everything is relatively “normal.” It’s a near impossible responsibility.
The fact that any of us are here at all means someone(s) endured all that and so much more for us and with us. Whatever your relationship with your mom is like, or with yourself as a mom, or with your children, this weekend invites us to hold this complex relationship in our hearts, minds, and bodies with gratitude, (and everything else)… while there is no such thing as a perfect mom, you are here. And for that I am grateful. I joyfully sent my mom a card, she’ll be receiving flowers from me on Sunday, and will get a call sometime after church. She is no more perfect than I. While we have bumps in our story, there is also much love, and much to celebrate. To all who nurture… bless you!
Speaking of those who nurture, this week our world lost a beautiful soul. George Dance died on Tuesday. George has been a vital part of St Luke’s for many years. Please hold Roz and all who knew and loved George in your heart and prayers.
Just a reminder, that this Sunday we’re having Breakfast Church, so our worship gathering will be around tables with breakfast being served during the service. And as also, remember friend, you are loved, and you are not alone.