Voice and Vision

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162: Another Mother’s Day

There’s a little framed photo on my desk of me with my daughter at age four. We are both dressed in lacey white frocks, ribbons in our hair, leaning into each other, softly smiling.  It may have been taken on Mother’s Day–who remembers? This daughter is now decades older and a mother herself.

I think of the refugee mothers I’ve seen in the New York Times recently. None of them wear white lacey dresses and ribbons in their hair. Nor do the moms carrying placards fighting abortion bans. I think of the mom who briefly worked for me who did not own a home of her own for herself and her grown daughter and to whom I gave an extra $20 to start a teapot savings for a home. I think of moms the world over struggling to feed their starving children. What must that feel like? I gave to The Central Kitchen that feeds people world-wide and I give to The International Rescue Committee which works similarly. But I could do more for moms and their children.

Along with financial giving, a powerful gift we all have to generously bestow on moms is prayer–to love them in our hearts. I think of moms every day, just as I do the mother Cardinal I wrote about last week.  I look for ways to do more for all moms.

My particular religion (and I know it is not the only one) refers to God as Mother as well as Father.  Julian of Norwich, who lived in the 14th century, an anchoress living in solitude in England, wrote: “As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother.” Julian continues: “This fair lovely word ‘mother’ is so sweet and so kind that it cannot truly be said of anyone or to anyone except of him and to him who is the true Mother of life and of all things. To the property of motherhood belong nature, love, wisdom and knowledge, and this is God.” She describes mother as “kind, loving,” as “one who knows and sees the need of her child guards it very tenderly, as the nature and condition of motherhood will have. And always as the child grows in age and in stature, she acts differently, but she does not change her love.”

As we remember we are God’s offspring, we are able to reflect some of the qualities of the motherhood of God in our own mothering. This is our task and our joy.

Mother and Child, framed pastel, NFS. 29 1/2" x 35.”  By Gwendolyn Evans

Mother and Child, framed pastel, NFS. 29 1/2″ x 35.”  By Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork:  This is my daughter with her daughter, painted in soft pastels, sixteen years ago. I’ve shown it before on this website, but it is the most appropriate Mother’s Day piece I have so I don’t think it hurts to show it again.

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