Mother’s Day is the starting point for this week’s Border Watch article.
The paper titled it ‘Mother’s Day Signals Reminder Of Love.’
Before our memories began we looked into our mothers’ faces, and they into ours. Mothers look upon their children with all sorts of expressions: love, devotion, pride, or joy; frustration, anger, exasperation, or concern. Their eyes can be filled with tears, sometimes happy, other times sad.
We learn about love in our mother’s arms, and their expressions guided us as we grew. A look of approval providing encouragement to proceed; arched eyes and a frown an unspoken counsel of caution to stop.
That formative relationship is why there is one expression on a mother’s face that we can never be prepared for – a lack of recognition.
For a mother to look on her children and show no signs of recognising them seems to run against all of nature. Having felt the stirring of her children within, having given birth, nourished and cared for them, a mother’s gaze is the constant in their children’s lives. People who are stoic and solid through every situation in life simply become undone when their mothers look upon them as a stranger.
Their mother looks at them simply as they look on any other and it breaks their hearts. At the beginning of our lives recognition and love grow in us under her gaze; toward the end of her life recognition may fade from her eyes, but the relationship of love remains in those she nurtured.
The recognition of our mothers is so normative that the Bible uses it as a descriptor of God’s love for His children. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?”
The answer anticipated is, sadly, yes.
There are circumstances in life where even a mother might lose conscious memory of her own children. There is a profound sense of bereftness experienced by those who care for their parent’s physical frames while their memories are gone.
God contrasts that point of human frailty with his own faithfulness and never ending compassion. God tells his people that they never need to fear that he will forget them.
The people feared that God might forget them because of their failure and lack of love for him. He responds and reminds them that his love for them was not based on their goodness and capacity for love, but on his own nature as love.
The ultimate expression of that love is that while humanity rebelled against God, God demonstrated his love by sending Jesus as Saviour.
It’s a powerful image. No matter what you’ve done, no matter how much you deserve to be written off, God remembers his own.
As God says: “Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
May God bless you, whatever circumstance you find yourself in this Mother’s Day. For many it will be a day of thankfulness. For some it will be a day of joy, for others it will bring a tear, for others still perhaps both. And, if you would receive it, may the day remind you of the offer of a love that lasts forever.