E. V. Lucas, a famous British author, wrote this lovely story which is a kind of parable. He told of a mother who lost her soldier son in the war, and she was inconsolable. “O Lord, that I might see him again,” she moaned, “if only for five minutes, but I wish I could see him again...” An angel heard her prayer and answered: “For five minutes you will see him...”
“Quick, quick,” said the mother, her tears turned to momentary joy.
“Yes,” said the angel, “but think a little. He was a grown man. There are thirty years to choose from. How would you like to see him?”
The mother paused and wondered.
“Would you see him,” said the angel, “as a soldier, dying heroically at his post? Would you see him as he left you to join the transport? Would you see him again as on that day at school when he stepped to the platform to receive the highest honours a boy could have?
The mother’s eyes lit up.
“Would you see him,” said the angel, “as a babe at your breast?”
And slowly, the mother said: “No. I would have him for five minutes, as he was one day when he ran in from the garden to ask my forgiveness for being naughty. He was so small and so unhappy, and the tears were making streaks down his face through the garden dust. And he flew to my arms with such force that he hurt me.”
It is a natural tendency of mothers everywhere to love, nurture and comfort their offspring and this is a reflection of the loving, nurturing and comforting quality of God. No wonder we hear some people recognizing God in their prayers as Father and Mother. His sternness and authoritative qualities are seen as Father and His tenderness, love and caring nature are seen as that of a mother.
Many mothers in the animal kingdom also express those feelings of love and care. Notice the strong feeling of caring and concern when birds use their wings and beaks to arrange their eggs in the nest. Notice too, how they bring food to their little ones and literally feed them. Once, in a television documentary, I watched a mother lion, relaxing while she nursed her cubs. It was very similar to a human mother, relaxing and nursing her offspring. Loving, concern and nurturing their young are natural for mothers everywhere.
Mothers are precious in that there is an indissoluble bond between them and their offspring. And no matter what anybody can do for us, there is nothing to change the fact that our mothers were our first connection with our physical existence in this life. We had been linked with them, nurtured by them, lived in close relationship with them, and brought forth into this world by them.
Our opening story reflects the natural quality of mothers to be needed, depended on and to give comfort. The one thing that mother wished for was to somehow re-live that scene when her son needed her and she would be there for him.
What a privilege it is to honour mothers! And even though many mothers do not always function in the way they were meant to, yet, because of the roles they have played in the earliest moments of our lives, let us honour them all.
Many years ago, in celebrating Mothers Day, it was popular to sing the following song, written by Howard Johnson. Most likely, it will bring back precious memories to you:
M is for the million things she gave me;
O means only that she is growing old
T is for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart of purest gold
E is for those eyes that love light shine in
R means right and right she’ll always be.
Put them all together they spell MOTHER...
A word that means the world to me.
A happy Mothers’ Day to mothers and all those who act in the role of mothers everywhere.