It’s Mother’s Day. Chances are good that we’ve got some feelings about that…
Some of us feel gratitude: for excellent mothering we have received– from birth mothers, adoptive mothers, grandmothers, surrogate mothers, and as one of our children said, “twin mommies.” Bless all who feel grateful today, God. GM/HP
Some of us feel deep joy: the new mothers, those who have been given another year with an aging mom. And though they’re the tiniest bit annoying, what with all that picture-showing, the grandmothers. J Some of us feel joy for technological advances like in vitro fertilization and for processes like adoption and foster parenting. Some of the mothers among us feel great joy because we love our children so much and are so very proud of them. Bless all who feel joy today, God. GM/HP
Some of us feel guilt today: for not being the best mother we could be… for not being the best daughter or son we could be…for something we can’t even name… For all who feel guilty today, God, ease the weight of their guilt. Surround them with your grace. Remind them that they are loved. GM/HP
Some of us are angry today: because we didn’t get the mothering we needed…because our children don’t always appreciate what we do for them… because we feel called to be mothers, but our bodies or circumstances have prevented that from happening… For those who are angry, God, help them learn from their anger, to understand the hurt that causes it, and to move forward in strength and love and insight. GM/HP
Some of us feel sad today….because we never had a mother…or did have a mother who couldn’t seem to love us…or do have a mother whose dementia is taking her from us one memory at a time… Some of us are sad because our mothers have died, or are alive but have never felt their full worth… Some of the mothers among us are sad because they have lost their children in one way or another. And some women who aren’t able to have children– having worked through their anger– now are feeling sad. Holy One, please comfort all who come to this day with sadness. GM/HP
(Whisper) Some of the mothers among us are so exhausted by their mothering they have now fallen asleep. Give them pleasant dreams, God. GM/HP
Some of us—women who have NOT been called to be mothers—are wondering just why this prayer has gone on so long. What’s the big deal? Bless them, too, God. Affirm their decision not to have children. Bless all the ways they have given and are giving the best of themselves to others by means other than parenting. GM/HP
That last group is right, God—this prayer has gone on a long time. And, long as it is, it likely still hasn’t given voice to all the feelings present in the room today. In the quiet, Holy One, surround us with your love and care as we share with you all our feelings–all our joys, all our concerns, all of ourselves with you. In silence, hear us. (Silence) GM/HP
Holy One, some of us call you Father; some of us call you Mother; and some of us don’t call you anything because we’re so confused about you most of the time….Thank you for answering our prayers– no matter where we are on our theological journeys. For all we don’t know, we do know this: Jesus was our brother. We join our hearts and voices together as we pray the prayer he taught us:
Our Father/Mother, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kin-dom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts
As we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kin-dom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.