Wrestling with Mothers Day

As a preacher and worship planner, Mothers Day can be difficult for lots of reasons. In brief:

  • There are those for whom the day is extremely important, because it is a day of celebration. 
  • There are those for whom the day is extremely important, because it is a day of grief and sadness.
  • There are those for whom the day has very little meaning, for a variety of reasons. 

This post doesn't really engage  the debate as to whether to celebrate the day in the liturgy or not. Instead, it is a story that illustrates both the beauty and profound sadness of the day.

On facebook we were discussing times that we had been shown unexpected kindness, and this experience was shared with me by Mary Miller:

I hate mother's day. I really do.  
Before my Mom came to live with us, I would go camping and eat a whole cake, hiding in the woods on that day. So it is a tough day for me. But for the sake of my Mom, I have to tolerate it.  
A few years ago, I was at church on Mother's Day with my Mom and my husband. We went to the service which is entirely in Spanish, because it is our favorite service.  
At some point, the pastor asked the Mothers to stand up. My Mother stood up. I never had children (I'm in my 50's), so of course I didn't stand up when all the other women did.  
In front of us was sat a Hispanic woman probably in her mid to late 30's with a baby less than a year old. It was obviously her first Mother's Day. I had never seen her in church before. She noticed that I didn't stand up.  
After the stand-up and applause for Moms, this stranger turned around and handed me her baby. She let me hold the baby until after Communion. I can still smell his little head.  
The woman did not speak English. I have no idea if she was a documented immigrant or not. We had nothing in common (except that it took her a while (into her 30's) to have a child).
This was the single kindest act anyone has ever done for me. I will never forget it.

(Image:Madonna von der Stra├če, Roberto Feruzzi. Public Domain. Source