There are a lot of comics that centralize around motherhood. Between the kids, the husband, the telephone, the laundry basket and the dog, these comedic takes on life in the nest gently reiterate the fact that without the glue to hold the house together (AKA Mom) then life would inevitably fall apart. It’s no wonder P&G has done a pretty thorough campaign capturing these things in a more serious tone. Aside from their interest from a profit standpoint, moms truly are the cultivators of a held-together home.
One thing for sure is that every mom is different. We aren’t here to nitpick one mom’s more disorganized nature or another’s more systematic approach to life. Each and every mom is important and valuable for her unique way of keeping things in order. Your mom may be the CEO of a corporation, a thirty-one consultant, full-time babysitter, a police officer or have chosen to stay at home, regardless there is one singular thing that ties them all together: sacrifice. We can laugh at the Sunday Funnies when Dennis the Menace‘s Mom swoops in to clean up the mess or when the moms in Family Circus or Jump Start go insane or when a Mom in the Peanut’s Christmas scolds someone, but the truth is that Moms work harder than anyone. Take this for instance:
Moms are underestimated, forgotten, and left to handle their postpartum depression alone (hopefully that unpleasant stage of motherhood never hit or is long passed). We simply expect them to keep going and often forget that they, too, need cared for and times of rest just as much as the rest of us. Their job is incredibly difficult, taxing, and void of a clock out time. They are constantly on call and never is there a moment when they are free from their ultimate responsibility.
Even Jesus knew this about moms. In fact, he does some pretty powerful things right before his death on the cross pertaining to his own mother. You might call this the original Mother’s Day.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her,“Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:25-27)
In Ancient Israel, and still in some areas of the Middle East, a woman had virtually no rights. Do you recall the time that Ruth went out to ‘glean’ after she and Naomi returned to their homeland? It wasn’t because she enjoyed the scorching heat. These women were only as valuable as the sons they birthed and after their husbands passed on, it was the firstborn son’s responsibility to care for his mother long term. She couldn’t properly care for herself because she was not in a position culturally to thrive without a man in the picture. This is so contrary to our modern idea of culture with Feminism on the loose. Single-Moms and Lifelong, Single Women have the ability thrive on their own accord and, at the very minimum, stay afloat in our world, but that was not the case even a hundred years ago. It’s no wonder that Hannah desperately longed for a son. Yes, it was partially the motherhood aspect, but it was also very heavily due to her desire for a future after Elkannah passed on from this life. For Mary, Jesus’ mother, he was technically the one to care for her in her old age. Only in Jesus’ case, there wasn’t going to be any home on earth for her to join him in. He was dying only to return and then depart again.
To the modern reader, this section about transferring Mary to motherhood over a new ‘son’ may seem out of place, but in that moment he was fulfilling his responsibility as son to prepare a place for his mother to live out her days in comfort. It was deliberate and vital to his earthly role as son – something we can overlook in light of his Divinity.
Something else is hidden here and this is for those of us who have experienced the death of a child, whether that be in pregnancy or post birth. Jesus, looking down on his mother that day, knew that she was about to watch her miracle child pass on from this life – a thing no parent should ever have to experience. He knew that she would be in a state unable to care for herself while she endured the grief of losing her precious son. In that moment of provision, he was also providing a way for her to mourn his loss (though we know he is no longer in the grave) and to move on with life in a healthy manner.
You, dear mother, whether your child is two, forty-seven, or resting in the arms of Jesus after only a few weeks in the womb, have a special place in the arms of Jesus. Your hard work, long hours, and sacrificial love do not go unnoticed by Creator God. Even in the pages of Scripture, we find many stories of mothers both young and old. From barren to fertile, God sees your weariness and hears your cries. He knows your struggles and rejoices with you in your joys. It can be easy to think that you have been forgotten and that what you do goes unnoticed, but I can promise you that God, himself, is aware and in full support of you as a mother.