To be Mothered | a Prayer

This is a post from the archives. I’m reposting it today in honor of Mother’s Day.


Our good God,

Today will be littered with cards and flowers, chocolates and hugs.

Today there will be no apparent end to the hand-drawn stick figures scratched in green crayon next to the almost-legible: To Mom.

Today we will give thanks to You for the good gift of mothers and motherhood

and to our mothers, near and far, for their affection and dedication and tireless love.

But today, many of us will wince in pain.

Today, for many – perhaps, for most – will come as a blaring reminder of what is not yet, what once was, or what never was. We will remember in blaring honesty the mothers that we never knew, who did not love us well, or those who did but have passed. We will remember in the harshness of reality the motherhood we desire, that we cannot seem to have, that we cannot seem to keep.

And for this we grieve.

We grieve, but are not alone.

In the midst of our pain and our tears, we look up to find ourselves in good company, and to find that this is nothing new to You.

We are Eve: knowing the sting of broken relationships and a broken earth, wishing our grown children would reconcile and wondering where we went wrong.

We are Hagar: rejected and denied, we face motherhood alone, and have no idea how You are going to provide.

We are Jochebed, Moses’ mother: rending our hearts in two in order to give our child the safety that we could not afford, sending our little ones away to be cared for by another.

We are Pharaoh’s wife: compelled to care for children not our own, tethered to them in love in a way we cannot explain, and praying that You will give us the courage and capacity to do it right.

We are Hannah: with the pang of childlessness tucked inside our breast, falling on the temple steps asking when – and how – you will meet us in our personal tragedy.

We are Rachel: longing for the day when You would remember us, and bless us with a child, while the women around us announce week by week, month by month, the joy of their own pregnancies.

We are Naomi: shrouded in grief at the loss of a husband, and the sons who never should have passed before us.

We are Mary: with an unexpected babe growing in our bellies, we are afraid we are too young, too inexperienced, to mother this child.

And so we ask You this day to come and mother us, good God. Would you come in Your way of compassion and affection and sweep us up into Your grand Self

and, in this good company, let us sit with You a while.

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