A Mother’s Way

Week of May 14, 2017

In our second reading Peter invites the listeners of his letter to be built into a spiritual house.  On this day we see this as the mission of all mothers.  We celebrate with expectant moms, biological moms, and adoptive moms; we celebrate with grandmothers, great-grandmothers, godmothers and spiritual mothers.  This vision of motherhood, letting oneself be built into a spiritual house, is found in every embrace a mom gives.  Moms are to be a place of sanctuary for their children.  They are a place to run when hurt or devastated.  As children, we often open our arms to be held and picked up by our mom.  We long for the sound of the voice that calms our fears, shushes the pain away and whispers sweet things into our ears, helping us believe everything will be alright.  A special gift has been given to them. They are the spiritual house in which their child is to come to know God.  As they give love, they reflect the author of love, God Himself.  What an incredible testimony!  Yet their mission goes even further than that. They are to watch and listen, guide and support this life entrusted to them so that the child of their affection will also grow into a spiritual house.  This second half of the journey is the most difficult.  Raising a child to grow into an adult, a spiritual adult, takes prayer and courage.  It takes letting go to watch mistakes happen and teaching the consequences for bad choices.  A spiritual house is not built overnight.  This mission is long-lasting, life-giving and at times quite exhausting.  A mother’s way is through example. A mother’s way is through prayer. To teach a child to become a spiritual house is to watch, interact, lead, love and forgive. This kind of house is set on solid ground.

There is an African proverb that says, “Little by little. Over time a little becomes a lot.”  It’s the little things that give children the courage and resilience to persevere. I’ll never forget the one first day of summer vacation when I crashed my new two wheel bicycle. In shock I kept driving home and walked in the back door. I didn’t even know there was blood gushing from my forehead.  My mom immediately hung up the phone and looked at the bump, assessing the injury. Off we went to the hospital by bus to get 5 stitches.  That was a simple fix.   When she had to deal with us as teens and adults, it wasn’t so simple and her heart broke a few times.  Yet with the same faith she walked into those situations unwavering in her faith.  What she wanted most was for each of us to find God, trust in God and believe in God.  She wanted us to build our own spiritual home, just as she did.  That is the role of motherhood in all of its aspects.

Today we thank God for all moms and woman of spiritual influence.  We thank them for taking on the role God has given to them.  May we build spiritual homes by following their example.

Reverend John J. Ouper