Sunday is a day of love, remembrance and sentimentality because it’s Mother’s Day. We have set this day aside to honor those who gave us nativity, nourishment and nurture. All of us can remember something very special about our moms on this important day because they shaped our lives and made us what we are today.
My mom is in heaven now, but I can still remember my dear sainted mother’s support when I first surrendered to preach. I was just a teenager with all the knowledge I thought a person would ever need to possess. Mama had to continually pull me up short and remind me of who I really was and what I was about. She knew full well what the Bible meant when it said a person could “be vexed in their spirit” because I kept her exceedingly vexed.
When I filled out my application for a driver’s license it asked where I was born. Being a spiritual 16-year-old giant I wrote, “I was born in sin and raised in iniquity.” That had such a preacher sound about it and I just loved it. Mama read it, whooped me upside the head then I quickly wrote Birmingham. Maybe that didn’t sound churchy but I sure heard the sound of church bells for a few days after that lick on the noggin.
Being the theologian I thought I was, I asked Mama why I was born. I knew this would bog her down into intellectual speculation as she pondered the meaning of life and the purpose of existence. Plus it would get back at her for not letting me use my biblical quote. She just looked at me as though I was a slow-witted child, sighed and replied, “Because God was punishing me.” Boy, after that there was no reason for me to go to the mountain top in Tibet to find out the meaning of life.
I reminded her I was called of God to be a preacher and that ought to count for something. After all, Jeremiah said he was called to preach before he was even born. She thought a minute and said when I was born she did take a look at me and quote scripture from the Old Testament. She quoted Sarah on the birth of Isaac, “God has given me cause to laugh, so that all that hear me will laugh with me.” I asked her if it was because she was so glad I was born and she felt a sense of divine purpose. She gave me that look again and said, “No, I just took a look at you and laughed.” The next thing she will probably tell me is she dropped me on my head a couple of times. I bet Isaac’s mama never dropped him.
Our mothers love us no matter how silly and immature we act. They love us in spite of what we are because they don’t look only at our actions, they look upon our hearts. That is why a mother’s love is the closest thing to God’s love we can imagine. God loves us with an unmerited love called grace and He has given that same capacity to a mother’s heart. The tender sentimentality of Mother’s Day is our expression of this innate understanding of just how deeply our moms love us. The best way to return a mother’s love is to surrender to our Father’s love through Christ Jesus. So, this Mother’s Day be in your Father’s house as a testimony to her love.
I guess I ought to be glad my mom didn’t remember the wife of Phinehas. She named her baby Ichabod because she said the glory of God was departed. Now that would give a fellow a complex. Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers.
Dr. Gerald Hallmark is a retired minister living in Alexander City whose column appears here each Friday.