Some things make you cry. I can be stoic when dealing with death. I control myself when sadness can overwhelm others. I don’t get too emotional when finals are lost or won. But I am reduced to tears when I see the beauty of parenting and family relationships. Delighted in childish play, where work is silenced by the priorities of those closest to him, a father is accompanied by the most extraordinary and beautiful creature. She is wise without reference to Google. She has feet swift to a problem. She is tenderness with both hands. She is sharp of mind on the things that matter and her voice is that of kindness when hurt, and yet powerful when correction is needed. She sees through walls, she hears long distance and she knows what you have done before you have confessed it. But it’s her heart where the action really is. She is love without the sentimentality. She is merciful when occasion does not deserve it. She is grace on two legs and her life arrives to every spill and injury with love and to every misbehaviour with forgiveness. Her name…”MUM”.
I know a man married to the mother of three children. He’s an observer who says she, like all good mothers, is a tireless carer, a relentless defender and a courageous confronter of anything that endangers her children. She endlessly prays for them, works on them and serves them in order to encourage them to be the best they can be. She lets them get away with nothing but delivers them everything. Her children applaud her and the only thing that seems greater than her defence of them is their defence of her.
A mum is not like a school teacher who simply shows up to work and may have favourites. She is better than a school where a child can get lost or missed among others. She is smart enough to know that others can’t raise her children and her sense of responsibility sees her never abdicate. She is a mum whose love seems endless, who shows it in countless ways and educates her child in how to live. She comforts through grief, she lifts up when there is failure, she’s honest when others are not, she cautions against bad company, she cleans wounds, she wipes tears, she holds hands and she sometimes kicks rears. Mums – a glory in a world of reducing glories.
As we approach another Mother’s Day, perhaps I paint a picture of mums that some will say they never had. Perhaps I paint a picture of the mum you want to be but feel you keep failing to be. Perhaps you want to be a mum but circumstance prevents it. Perhaps the picture is that of a mum who died and the grief that went with that is always too close. In all cases God can make a difference. God knows that some mothers do not deserve the title and God has always offered love to the orphan and the rejected. God knows the struggles of parenting and always offers forgiveness to the mum who feels a failure. God is a friend to the childless and while the pain for some is deep and seemingly without compensation, God can open your eyes to other possibilities and bring you into families who need someone like you to help. And having lost my mother, God offers hope for those who grieve.
Some things make you cry. The extraordinary and beautiful creature we call “mum” is one of those things. As we approach Mother’s Day, if you like extraordinary and beautiful things, then I want to encourage you to watch a little video entitled, “50 Mums / 50 Kids / 1 Extra Chromosome”. Go here to view it. The video was created by mum’s from the Facebook group “Designer Genes”, who all have a child with Down Syndrome. These mums and their children are extraordinary and beautiful and will reduce you to tears in a happy place.
Thanks mums from all your children.