What Moms Really Want
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
On Mother’s Day of all days, it’s appropriate for us to consider the maternal, nurturing, protective aspects of the God we worship. God’s feminine characteristics are undeniably real. A little girl once asked, “If God is our father, then who is our mother?” Before anyone could answer, she said, “Oh, I know! It must be Mother Nature!” That’s adorable, but it also makes sense, that those elements of nature: beauty, power, harmony, and creativity exist for us to experience our own nurturing and growth. The maternal characteristics of God have great value, and they are worth honoring in the same way we honor our earthly mothers on Mother’s Day.
So, how do we honor mothers? There’s the commercial aspect: flowers, jewelry, taking her out to brunch, etc. But what do moms really want? I have three daughters who span five years, and even though two of them are grown up and no longer live at home, I had a lot of years of all three of them at home. Every year they would ask me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, and every year I would say the same thing. I want two things: world peace and a clean house. (There was always a chance that they might clean something...)
When they were teenagers, I realized they weren’t really understanding what I meant by world peace. I wasn’t expecting them to single handedly solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What I wanted was peace in MY WORLD. Peace in MY house, Peace in MY family. So I had to specifically say, “What I want is for you to get along with your sisters all day. No fighting.” Of course, what I was asking, what I wanted, was for them to love each other. That is, coincidently, the same thing Jesus tells us to do. This is my commandment: Love One Other. It is the most loving, joyous, positive commandment, and it’s also very parental. It’s very motherly!
When children focus on their mutual love of their mother and put aside their differences and get along even for just one day, it is very pleasing for the mother. Even when they’re faking it—the delight comes in the effort. The best part is, it doesn’t cost anything! It’s a free, relatively simple way to make mom happy. So, as God’s children, how about we try pleasing our mother-father-God in the same way? We see divided communities, a divided nation, a divided world, with war, threats of war, displaced refugees, hatred, and suffering everywhere.
Let us delight in the effort it takes to love people who behave differently than we do, who think differently than we do, who live on the other side of the world. Let’s find the joy in loving people of other faiths. People of no faith. Let’s delight in our trying, in our awareness, and in our feeblest of attempts to love one another, for deep down we know that all people are our brothers and sisters, and there really is no "other."
St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the 13th century about this matter:
How is it they live for eons in such harmony
The billions of stars
When most men can barely go a minute
Without declaring war in their mind against someone they know.
How can we live in harmony? First we need to know
We are all madly in love with the same God.
We know that God has many names and many roles: Mother, Father, God, Spirit, Allah, Universe, Divine, Lord… While God’s characteristics are unlimited, for today, let us honor and give thanks for the way God nurtures us, provides our every need, and indeed loves us, like a mother. May we strive to be greater expressions of God’s unconditional love. Let us accept the harmonious, loving nature of our Mother God, and the ability to truly love one another.
Blessings on this joyous Mother's Day,