Of course on Mothers Day much is made of that in church. People show up who haven’t been forever, ostensibly to please mothers by attending. We speak of the glories of motherhood, tributes well-deserved. There are the quiet ones who have lost mothers, were not so blessed to be the mothers they wish they had, and those who suffered at the hands of mothers. It’s a mixed bag, Mothers Day, but mostly nice.
Today my eye was on the sparrow, a young woman with deep disabilities and delays. She lives independently near by the church. She walks to worship every week and sits in the front row. When she leaves worship she always shares a prayer concern for someone else. I’m proud of her.
One of the stark facts of her existence is that it is questionable whether she will, herself, ever be a biological mother. She is much like a child herself. It is a challenge just to care for her own needs. I doubt that she will ever be standing in front of the congregation to dedicate her young, make covenant to raise them in the faith.
But she always brings a baby doll in tow to worship. This is not only baby doll a young child might carry like a blankie, a security object. Yes, it could be that, but for her, I think, it is much more. When it came time to dedicate infants today she proudly held her baby up. During the song after the dedication she rocked and loved her baby who has a name. She takes care of it. It is, for all practical purposes, her baby.
Whatever you might make of this, and you could make of it much, what I always think about is the love she carries inside her, a love that may never have an outlet more than this, for a baby doll that is her baby. But the love that pours out of her heart is no less than the love of any other. It is perhaps the hard-wired love of one who, except for some genetic mutation, would be figuring out how to get her child to soccer practice.
For sure the outlet of her love is different. But what I see is the heart of a real mother. It lifts itself before a gracious God in worship every Sabbath and for me points me toward the essence of pure love. And someday, if I am so blessed, I may attain it.