She would arise in the dark hours of the morning and see to it that my sister, brothers and I awoke to a crackling blaze in the fireplace. While we were not the wealthiest family in Putnam County, we ate like royalty. Biscuits were her specialty, but she was not bad with fried chicken or mashed potatoes either. Everyone in our family called her Nannan – my grandmother. She died just over four years ago and I still miss her.
There is another mother in my life. I have known her for only 19 years, but she is solidly part of my family. Every few weeks I join my siblings along with our own children to return to the place we still call home and share in one another’s laughter, career woes and boast of our children with this special mother. She is my father’s wife, and we affectionately call her Diane.
There is one other mom I should introduce to you. She can spot a fever on a child’s brow days before a thermometer can register one. She organizes the home, puts up with my sophmoric humor and critiques my sermons. She is not bad at making biscuits either! I have known her for more than 21 years – 20 of which we have shared in marriage. My children call her mamma or sometimes just plain ol’ mom. They sometimes get exasperated with being told to pick up their rooms or hang up the bathroom towels, but they never question her deep love and devotion for our family.
There have been other mothers in my life – Sunday school teachers, deacons and teachers – but Nannan, Dianne and especially Amy have been the best. Is it any wonder that loving maternal images come to mind when we think of the self-giving love of God? It was Isaiah who prophesized: As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem (Isaiah 66:13).
Mothers also have to negotiate through our anxieties. When we were children, the mom’s kissed away our “boo-boos” (and less face it, dads are generally lousy at this!); and moms would tell us we don’t have to be afraid of the dark. But what about when we grow up? We still need these mothers in our life to speak assurances and provide comfort. This Sunday take time to share with a “mother-figure” in your life your gratitude for God’s gift in her. This church is full of such mothers, so the task should be an easy one.
Grace and Peace,