As Mother’s Day approaches, I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to every mom out there! The demands on today’s moms are great. Babies and toddlers need constant care, and as children grow there is homework to supervise, sports or dance activities to take kids to, counsel to offer regarding college choices, etc., not to mention meals to prepare, laundry to do, and financial obligations to meet!
But motherhood does not need to be overwhelming or frustrating, even during stressful situations. I remember a flight I took to Los Angeles a few years ago in which a young mother was struggling with her crying infant. The baby eventually fell asleep, but when he awoke, he began crying all over again. Because of delays and rerouting, what was to be a four hour flight turned into a seven hour one, and the baby was not happy!
Many of us felt compassionate toward this mother, but others were visibly upset. You could tell she was doing the best she could, but the stress level on the plane was rising, especially that of the dear mother. Finally one man took out his little dog who was traveling with him. He walked the dog near the child, who became enthralled with this little creature. A much calmer, quieter flight continued to Los Angeles.
I’ve often thought about that in the years since. It certainly was a caring and loving action this man and his dog took, but could it be, even without realizing it, that the man was acting under the impulse of divine Love, God’s mothering care? It is an interesting aspect of God, one not often discussed. The Bible relates God’s fathering nature and shepherding care, but this verse from Isaiah opens thought to God’s mothering identity: “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you:” (Isaiah 66:13).
God’s mothering affection can be felt by anyone, and that often happens as one identifies God as his or her divine Mother and learns what that means. This tender, divine endearment is a supporting, guiding, and intelligent influence that strengthens us and enables us to meet our parental demands, or any situation, with joy and buoyancy. In other words, the all-encompassing, reassuring, unconditional, mothering love of God is a healing power, and it dissolves worry, fear and stress. I’ve seen this proven true.
My mom was widowed when my sister and I were young teens. Her stress level rose overnight as she needed to find a job, become both mother and father to her two children, and overcome her grief. She told me one day that as she turned to God as the Father and Mother of herself and her children, she realized that stress did not have to characterize her life. During these years, especially when faced with overwhelming fear, she often sang the words of a loved hymn which speaks about God’s mothering love: “O Love, our Mother, ever near/ To Thee we turn from doubt and fear! / In perfect peace our thoughts abide/ Our hearts now in this truth confide: /Man is the child of God.”
This hymn taught her that she could trust God’s mothering love to give her the strength and intelligence to take care of herself and my sister and me. That trust replaced her stress with confidence, as she found God’s guidance, affection, and peace enveloping her. She became a much stronger woman.
I’ll never forget the time I came home from school and she told me, “Thank God. Go ahead, thank Him.” When I did, she told me that she had been worried about a real estate tax bill that was coming due and had prayed for the intelligence to find a way to pay the large amount. That day, a dividend check from some stock she had from my father’s workplace came in the mail, covering the tax bill completely. She said she would never worry about finances again, knowing she could trust God’s mothering care.
All three of us really learned to trust God during those years. His/Her guidance led all of us to employment, and both my sister and I graduated from college. In her later years, my mom always had more than she needed financially to meet her needs.
Whether a parent or not, we all have God’s mothering love to comfort, guide, protect, and care for us, to bring divine healing into every aspect of our lives. So as we approach Mother’s Day and think of our own mom or another mom who has helped us, let’s remember to honor our divine Mother this weekend and thank Her, too. We can never be separated from the divine Father-Mother God.
©2017 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois