On one hand, it should not be hard for me to write about Mother's Day. My wife is an absolutely amazing mom to our two boys. I have a ridiculously incredible mom who is one of my favorite people in the world. She is the daughter of another ridiculously incredible mother who is a fantastic grandmother. I have a great relationship with my mother-in-law. Over the past couple of years, I have watched as my sister and sister-in-law have become great moms themselves.
And yet I have friends for whom Mother's Day is difficult. The holiday seems to box women in. It elevates giving birth to a child as the pinnacle of femininity. I cannot imagine how difficult that must be for women who are unable to have children, simply do not want to have children, or just feel like they are more than a reproductive machine. We don't paint men into that kind of a corner. Churches don't have massive baby dedications on Father's Day. I rarely get asked who is taking care of my kids. Being a mother is a wonderful thing and I am grateful for all of the mother figures who have been in my life, but motherhood as typically embodied by this day does not make or break a woman.
Being a guy, I really feel like I have no business writing about this. Of course, I, who live in the 21st Century United States, also frequently write about a faith that began roughly 2000 years ago in the Middle East and with roots that go even further back. So I am probably way out of my depth most of the times that I write. So I take full responsibility for however I may put my foot in my mouth here.
There is a danger to what I'm about to do. It's aim is to make every woman special on Mother's Day and when you make everyone special then no one is special. So I want to write a quick caveat here that I could write pages and pages about how special my mom or EA or my Grandma is to me on Mother's Day. I have in the past and I will in the future. Again, they are ridiculously awesome. I am not sure how I have been so fortunate. This is not to say that moms are not important. It's just not the entire picture.
So here is my simple thought for this Mother's Day: a mother is someone who gives life. And life can be given in many different ways. Yes, life can be given when a mother labors and delivers a child into this world. It can be given as a woman loves, nurtures, and cares for a child whether she or he is biologically her child or not. One who comforts can be seen as a mother; a role with which Jesus readily identified himself. An aunt, grandmother, sister, cousin, or neighbor can be a mother to a child.
But giving life goes far beyond a parent-child relationship. One who gives an encouraging word gives life. One who shares wisdom gives life. A joke gives life. A meal gives life. A sermon gives life. A smile gives life. One who loves gives life. That life-giving capacity exists in every single woman who walks the face of the earth. Many give so much life to the world around them every day, but they are not adequately recognized for it. No one is rushing to the drugstore tonight to get them a card or flowers.
So today I am thankful. I am thankful for my mom, grandmothers, wife, relatives, friends, pastors, authors, artists, teachers, and scores of other women that have given me life in numerous ways. Whether you have children or not, you have given life to this world and I just want to say thank you. Not that you need a guy to tell you that, but thank you anyway. And God bless.