Reflection on Mothers Day.
It is hard ti imagine pain unless one has suffered it. Yet each year we pause to reflect on the agony of Jesus Christ’s death and what it means to us.
So for the moment, put yourself in Christ’s position…there you are hanging on the cross with nails banged into hands and feet, thorns piercing your forehead, the weight of your body tearing against those nails,…the pain: excruciating. What would be your reaction? I would suggest very carnal.
Not so of Jesus Christ. Only minutes before He died, Jesus provided us with a wonderful lesson of “Pure Religion”.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27.
Jesus’ last act of “Pure Religion”, was to ensure that His mother would be adequately cared for…..”Woman behold your son; son behold your mother” John 19:26.
In only a few days hence, this nation will stop and do something nice.
Collectively we will honour our Mothers. Yet there is a tragic irony that is associated with this event.
When Julia Ward Howe [author of The Battle Hymn of The Republic] suggested the idea of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, a daughter of a Methodist pastor took up the cause, Anna having heard her mother conclude a Sunday school class on “Mothers in the Bible” with a prayer to this effect “…I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial Mother’s Day…” was moved to the point she was heard to say later at her mothers graveside, you shall have that Mother’s Day.”
Anna championed the cause and in 1914 President Woodrow officially proclaimed a public holiday on the second Sunday in May establishing that day as Mother’s Day.
Having succeeded, Anna soon became embittered by the commercialisation of the holiday and began to actively campaign against it.
Mother’s Day is a wonderful day to honour our mothers but we need to take heed of the sweet/bitter lesson learnt from Anna’s experience that the celebration is to be more than just a commercialised event. It should be a time when we remember not only our mothers, but the “…widows in their distress…”
I am often reminded of my own mother and the loneliness she experienced when I moved my family to Queensland.
After her death, I discovered numerous poems she had written in German but one really stood out for this particular poem, was directed toward me. I have translated the poem for you and I hope it captures the mood and intent.
“Oh my son what have you done?
You grieved your mother some.. Gone is my hope.
I grow grey, my eyes are dim, In you my son, lay my hopes, my
Thoughts, my future security.
It was a simple request, a wish a dream
Now…ripped from me, tossed into an ever swirling sea.
How could you have done this? I cannot understand your reason.
My days grow shorter, My years long, What will you do my son, when that day comes along? When God will take my soul.
Oh! On that day you will be all alone; all the days of your neglect will come and collect on that day I no longer am.
A mother you cannot replace, yet children so easily forget, In my despair and loneliness I write to you thus.
Some day too, when you are old you will understand my point of view;
Lonely days are difficult to endure, no-one asks “How are you”?
Should God entreat you with length of days, maybe then you will understand LONELINESS.
My thoughts are continually with you, take to heart my son these words of mine. Yet even though I do despair, I am not alone.
For God our Father and Jesus Christ have said “I will never leave you: or
Forsake you” I hope with all my heart upon that year, when I should adieu,
Good-bye, farewell, depart.
For on that day my cry “Son come home to me” will no longer be.
My son think and ponder on the years ahead, when you too will have to savour loneliness.
Be strengthened, for you are not alone, your God will take you by the hand and lead you to that promised land”.
When we celebrate Mothers Day let us reflect and ensure that we honour
Our Mothers every day.
“…Son behold your mother”.
Written by Roland Sernig.